His First Flight By Liam O’Flaherty


Liam O’Flaherty portrays the coast of the Irish Sea and bird life through his inspirational storey of a seagull in “His First Flight.” Bird life and habits are revealed clearly in the storey. A bird achieves independence only if it succeeds in flying. Flying encourages a bird to cover the land and the sea by air. One of these young seagulls and his first flight to overcome fear is the central character and theme of the storey.

The young seagull is on the ledge alone, his usual resting place. His head is down, he’s depressed. The reason is that his brothers and sisters (siblings) had learned to fly, but they didn’t. His attempts have never been successful. Somehow, the fear of failure and lack of trust have brought him down.

He formed a judgement in his mind that his wings would never support him, even though his wings were larger and stronger than the others. He can’t have the courage to take that plunge or leap that inspires flying. His parents scolded him, threatening him with starvation on the ledge if he didn’t fly. But all this was nothing at all. He was afraid to die. Now it’s been 24 hours of tension. His parents have tried their best to encourage him to fly, but they have failed. He had also seen his parents perfect his siblings in the art of flying, teaching them to skim the waves and dive for the fish. The young seagull was jealous of seeing his older brother catch a herring and eat.

The parents wanted him to feel jealous, they wanted to show him their anger when he refused to fly. He’s not supposed to be a coward, a fool. Birds are born to fly, and if this seagull did not dare to fly, it would be a failure. Other birds are going to make fun of him. He would have died of starvation. It was evening, and he was hungry. Not a single piece of food on the ledge. His stomach hurt because of starvation. But still, he wasn’t ready to try and fly. But, by the way, the funny thing was that he burned his head, thinking of a way to reach his parents without flying. There was a deep crack between him and his parents.

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He tried to get his parents to notice his presence. He stood on one leg, with the other leg hidden under his wing, closed his eyes, and pretended to be asleep. But no one had seen him. Again, he saw his brothers and sisters lying and sleeping after their first day of flying. His father was holding his feathers. But his mother, she was the only one who was still worried about it.

She looked at her young woman. She wanted to give him some more inspiration, so she started to peck a piece of fish. When she rubbed her beak on a rock, the young seagull became mad. “Food. Oh, God, it’s been so long since I had some food. His mother knew his needs. She cackled aga,ga,ga. He shouted out loud, too. To his surprise, he saw his mother pick up a piece of fish and fly toward him. His heart jumped with excitement as he came closer and closer. The food thought had bought some water in his mouth.

But she stopped as she came closer to the rock. Unknowingly, he dived at the food, and he fell into open space. And he felt scared. But the fear only lasted for a moment. He spread his wings outward and began to fly. He was soaring up. He was so happy about that. He has howled with joy. His family also came to accompany his joy. The entire family blew up and sank through the air. He had forgotten his fear. Next, he came to the sea. His feet had fallen into the water. He thought he was going to fall, but his belly touched the water. He felt well balanced. He might as well fly and float. So he did his first flight.

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Questions and Answers

Activity 1

Q. 1. What is the theme of the story? “Making a leap to fly high in the skies, overcoming fear and weakness is the theme of this story.
Ans. Flying is the object of a bird’s life. It can survive only by flying. It can survive by flying only to get its food. It has to be independent, as parents are not always able to provide it food. We too must learn from the young seagull about life. Fear, shyness, nervousness and all unnecessary thinking must be overcome and we must strive hard to reach our goal.

The significance of ‘family’ as a source of inspiration and motivation is also the central theme conveyed by the seagull’s storey. The young person’s mother is the real motivator responsible for the’ First Successful Flight.’

Q. 2. What do you think is the real crisis faced by the young bird?

‘FEAR’ is the real crisis.

‘Fear’ in many forms.

First, he doesn’t have self-confidence. More than his qualities and abilities, he highlights his negatives and disabilities. He compares himself to his siblings as well.

Second, he’s afraid he’s going to fail. ‘FAILURE’ is impossible for him. His ego doesn’t permit that. So he can’t make the big leap that would make it possible for him to fly. He’s still gazing down. His head needs a look.

Third, he is judgmental. He had a vision that his wings would not support him to fly. He’s not willing to try to do that. So we can infer that his crisis is a mental crisis.

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Q. 3. What is your impression of the reaction of the parents in the story?
Ans. Parents are the reason why children are growing up safely in this world. They protect, nurture and build children to make them USEFUL citizens. It is the motivation and inspiration they give to children that makes them rise to the ladder of education, social status and financial security.

For a bird whose life purpose is to fly high and find food for survival, the parent must ensure that the young bird must learn the art of flying at the earliest opportunity. The family in this storey is a perfect example of the features mentioned above.

They inspire, motivate and encourage him. They’re going to give the first ‘push.’ They love the young seagull, and they show him anger when he comes back. The mother is amazing, she doesn’t give up until the first flight of her son.

The father and the siblings take part in all his needs. When he flies and catches food, the family enjoys it together.

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