Writing Techniques in Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Bach's descriptions of flight, exhibiting an acute metaphorical awareness of aerodynamics and sensation, reflect years of writing for pilots. His precision spills over into the reader's consciousness of theme words and lends them authority.

The stereotyped value words, actions, and dialogue work like symbols because they are incomplete. The loose style affords meanings vague enough to coax the reader into many automatic conjectures. The characters, without limiting detail, can suggest many parallels. Undefined value words can suggest whatever fits the reader's personal definitions. The setting, being mostly air, distracts very little from a wide range of interpretation. The plot — leave society, learn, return — has classic roots and is not specific enough to deny the reader's associations.

The allegory built on stereotypes is brief and approximate: Like an exaggerated impressionistic painting, it casts light in many directions but lets the viewer decide what is illuminated.

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This section contains 146 words
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