Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Personal Improvement

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

(For the Jonathan in all of us)

A Summary of Jonathan Livingston Seagull
by Richard Bach

This is a story about a seagull named Jonathan, who is an outcast, quite experimentive and has a thirst for knowledge. He eventually gets kicked out of his flock for dishonoring them and lives on his own. One day two gulls take him to heaven. While there, he learns about life and how to fly with perfection from the Great Gull, who teaches him. The Great Gull eventually dies and Jonathan is left alone and he becomes a teacher and goes back to earth and teaches the other flocks. They become amazed by his skill and they learn from him and eventually he meets Fletcher who thought he was stupid and he learned many things from Jonathan and became a teacher himself.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull was trying to learn to go as fast as he possibly could and he wanted to show the others that life wasn’t about eating and living for as long as you can. He reached speeds that had never been reached by a seagull. He wanted to be a falcon and make deep dives because he thought he was so slow. Once he figured out how to bring his wings in and point tips out he reached incredible speeds. He wouldn’t be like the rest of the flock. But then he thought, “I am done with the way I was, I am done with everything I learned.” (p.22) But he showed off to the flock one-day and he got banned and was forced to leave because he wouldn’t change. He was angry because he thought that the flock would look up to him and not shame him.

“Jonathan Seagull spent the rest of his days alone, but he flew way out beyond the Far Cliffs.” (p.40) Two gulls had come and taken Jonathan away. He thinks he has reached heaven. He learns from the Great Gull, Chiang, grace and perfection. He figures out that there is no heaven, but perfection is heaven and to reach perfection is to master flight. Chiang finally dies and he has taught Jon many things about life not just flight. Jon carries on these teachings and goes back to earth.

He teaches the flocks that there’s more to life than what they think. He has become very wise about the facts of life. He has become enlightened and learns that he is free and so he teaches the others that they too are free. He meets Fletcher and teaches him things and then in the end Fletcher becomes a teacher and starts teaching others about flight.

Jonathan started out being a mischief-maker and ended about almost a god to the other gulls. He saw more in life than any had ever seen before. He knew there was meaning and he found that. This book was also about a journey Jon takes in finding himself. He believes in freedom and that all the gulls are free. He sees each individually as equals and not better than the other.

Source: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

This book changed my Life for the Better… Bill


Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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