Fear of Flying Summary
Erica Jong

Everything you need to understand or teach Fear of Flying by Erica Jong.

  • Fear of Flying Summary & Study Guide

Fear of Flying Summary

Like many quasi-autobiographical first novels, Fear of Flying is a bildungsroman whose central theme is the search for self-discovery. Isadora Wing re-examines and reinterprets her personal history in an effort to define herself as a daughter, a woman, a Jew and a writer. Structurally and philosophically the process resembles psychoanalysis — but traditional psychiatry is also a focus of the book's iconoclasm. The psychoanalysts Isadora knows operate on the basis of theoretical abstractions that have little connection to life as she sees it. Isadora examines her history in order to discover meanings that grow from her own intelligence and her experience as a woman in a particular society.

The title works on several levels.

Isadora is literally afraid of flying — afraid of losing control, of trusting her life to others, of technology as an intellectual construct she cannot understand and thus must take on faith. But the...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Fear of Flying Study Pack contains:

Fear of Flying Short Guide