Flight By Doris Lessing
Uploaded by HarryG on Dec 28, 2004
Flight By Doris Lessing
In the short story "Flight" by Alice Lessing, it's the story of an old man who raises homing pigeons for a hobby and who constantly worries about his last granddaughter, Alice, leaving and getting married to the postmaster's son, Steven. The old man is very overprotective and also possessive of his daughter. In a way, the grandfather is also jealous of Alice's fiancé, Steven. The Old man argues with Alice about her behaviour when Steven is with her and he complains to his daughter, Alice's mother, Lucy. In this story, Lessing wanted to show that part of growing up is leaving "the nest" and becoming more independent. Another part of growing up is letting go and moving on with ones life. Lessing uses a lot of techniques and devices in this short story like setting, point of view and symbolism.
The setting of this story plays an important role in learning where the story takes place in, when the story takes places and what the social environment was in the story. Lessing didn't actually mention directly the setting of "Flight" but Lessing did leave a couple of clues to figure out the setting. Many of the details in the story could mislead us into thinking that the story took place somewhere English. For example; serving tea and Lucy's sewing. Actually the story takes in places in South Africa. The clue which tells the true setting of story is frangipani tree which is repeatedly mentioned throughout the story. The time of the story was harder to figure out since there weren't a lot of details mentioning this but the vocabulary used in the story was one clue. Words like postmaster and dovecote were some of the words use in the story. The social environment of "Flight" could also tell the time of the story like for instance the grandfathers attitude is more traditional.
"Flight" is written in the third person but is it told through out the entire from the old man's point of view. At the beginning of the story, the grandfather was obviously very happy with his homing pigeons. His mood changes when he sees his last granddaughter swinging on the gate, waiting for his soon-to-be husband, Steven. We clearly see this sentiment when he takes his favourite pigeon and he prepares to let it go and he suddenly catches the pigeon before it was about to take...