Jonathan Livingston Seagull Themes & Symbolism

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Through the Elder Chiang, Jonathan learns that most gulls, strangely, scorn perfection and as a result go slowly nowhere. By contrast, those who put aside travel for perfection can go anywhere, instantly. Perfection is the essence of gull heaven, in whatever area the individual gull feels most passionately about. In Jonathan's case, this is refined aeronautic maneuvering and above all the attaining of record speed surpassing what a gull's wings are designed to sustain. In heaven, Jonathan learns from his instructor, Sullivan, that he is a one-in-a-million bird, attaining in a single lifetime the realization that there is more to life than eating, fighting and gaining power in the Flock. Most need 10,000 lives to accept the premise, then another 100 before they learn about perfection and 100 more before to realize the purpose of their lives is to find and strive for perfection. Even in what gull mythology calls...

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This section contains 720 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Jonathan Livingston Seagull Study Guide
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