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Doris Lessing: Flight Sample

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    This usher should assist you analyze Flight. It should be utile to pupils from all parts of the universe. though I have written it specifically to back up pupils in England and Wales fixing for GCSE tests in English and English literature. It may besides be helpful to the general reader who is interested in the narratives of Doris Lessing. Flight was published in 1957. in a aggregation of short narratives entitled The Habit of Loving. The writer. Doris Lessing was born in 1919. in Khermanhah in Persia ( now Iran ) . Her parents were British. At six old ages old. she moved to Zimbabwe ( so Southern Rhodesia ) . where she attended a girls’ school. In 1949. she moved to London. where her first novel. The Grass is Singing. was published in 1950. What happens in Flight?

    An old adult male ( nameless ) who keeps pigeons. concerns about his granddaughter. Alice. He has seen his other granddaughters leave place. marry and turn up. and he is both genitive of Alice and covetous of Steven. her fellow. ( He disapproves of Steven’s visual aspect and his father’s job. ) The old adult male argues with Alice about her behavior. and complains to his girl. Alice’s female parent ( Lucy ) . At the start of the narrative the old adult male shuts up his favorite pigeon. instead than allow it wing. But when Steven. the fellow. makes him a nowadays of a new pigeon. he is more able to accept what is traveling to go on. and he lets his favorite spell. The stoping of the narrative is equivocal ( it has more than one possible significance ) : Alice has cryings on her face. as she stares at her gramps. But we do non cognize if they are for him. for Steven. for herself or for some other cause. And we do non cognize if they are cryings of joy or unhappiness or some other feelings. The subjects of this narrative

    Is this a narrative about an old adult male who receives a present from his granddaughter’s fellow? In one manner. of class it is. But is this all? Or does this outward or surface narrative lead into another? Leaving place and going independent are things which most people face sooner or later. They can be dismaying. but they are natural and about inevitable. Sometimes this sort of narrative is described in the phrase “rites of passage” – which fits narrations about turning up. traveling on and life-changes. This should do it a really suited narrative for immature people fixing for tests: Alice’s state of affairs will be one that you face now or will confront shortly. How do you experience about this chance? Is it chilling. or exciting or both? The characters in the narrative

    This is a really short narrative. so it does non hold to the full developed characters as we might run into in a novel or one of Shakespeare’s dramas. Doris Lessing Tells us merely what we need to cognize ( and possibly girls tonss of things we might wish to cognize ) . So who are these characters? The old adult male

    The cardinal character in the narrative has no name. Why might this be? Does it do him look less of an person. or possibly do him look more cosmopolitan. like person we might cognize? Or can you believe of any other ground for his non being named? We know that he is Alice’s gramps. and that he feels genitive towards her. We know besides that he keeps pigeons. The narrative is told mostly from his point of view and whatever it means. it is surely in some manner about his acquisition or accepting things about Alice. Alice

    Alice is the old man’s granddaughter. She is a immature adult female but he still sees her as a kid – or would wish to make so. She looks immature and sometimes Acts of the Apostless in a unworried manner. but largely she has a serious and grown up wish to get married her fellow. and settle into a domestic modus operandi. Lucy

    Lucy is the old man’s girl and Alice’s female parent. She is depicted as a grown up in her visual aspect ( “square-fronted” ) . her actions ( she looks after her male parent ) and the manner in which her male parent thinks of her ( “that woman” ) . Her hubby is absent ( possibly she is a widow or grass widow. but there is no grounds to state the reader more. salvage that it is Lucy who gives Alice permission to get married ) . But we know that Lucy married at 17 “and ne’er regretted it” . She tries to reassure the old adult male about Alice. She has already agreed to her get marrieding Steven. and tells her male parent this in the narrative. Steven

    Steven is Alice’s fellow. In the narrative we see him through the old man’s eyes. The old adult male finds things incorrect with him ( his ruddy skin color. his physical visual aspect and his father’s occupation ) . The reader is non likely to portion this disapproval. Lucy expects him to be every bit good a hubby as her other three misss have. And he is thoughtful plenty to give the old adult male a present of a pigeon. The puting – clip and topographic point

    Doris Lessing grew up in Zimbabwe. in southern Africa. Yet the scene of this narrative could about be anyplace. except for a few hints. One is the wooden gallery at the forepart of the whitewashed house. Another. which is repeatedly mentioned. is the frangipani tree. ( This species of tree takes its name from an Italian perfumier ; the aroma of the flower purportedly resembles one of his perfumes. ) But many inside informations make the narrative seem about English in its scene. Some of these are listed below. Can you believe of others? * the vale. the Earth. the trees ;

    * the columbarium ;* Lucy’s stitching ;* home bases and cups of tea ;* Steven’s father’s occupation – he is a “postmaster”Possibly more of import is the clip in which this narrative is set. Although the narrative seems quite modern in demoing a immature adult female about to go forth place. the attitudes of the gramps are more traditional. He wants to maintain his grandchild at place. and botch her as his front-runner. Although Alice will non give in to the old man’s wants. she still shows regard for him. Doris Lessing’s technique

    Technique refers to the manner an writer writes – non what he or she says. but how it is said. Body linguistic communication – actions and gesturesThis is a narrative in which attitudes appear frequently in actions. For illustration. when her gramps cries: “Hey! ” Alice leap. She is alarmed. but so becomes evasive. as we see when her “eyes veiled themselves” . She adopts a impersonal voice and tosses her caput. as if to shrug off his confrontational stance. When he thinks of Steven the old man’s hands curl. like claws into his thenar. When Steven gives the old adult male the present of a new pigeon both Alice and her fellow attempt to reassure the old adult male: “They hung about him. affectionate. concerned…They took his weaponries and directed him…enclosing him. petting him…”

    Here we find another mention to eyes – they are “lying happy eyes” . stating the old adult male that nil will alter. when he and they know this is false. At the terminal of the narrative Alice is “wide-eyed” while cryings run down her face. Earlier it was the old adult male who was shouting at the idea of losing her. What do her cryings mean at the terminal of the narrative? Possibly she knows that she truly is to be married. and she. excessively. is now sad at the terminal of childhood. When Lucy shades her eyes with her manus. she is truly interested in the Flight of the pigeons. but she has non let travel of her domestic everyday – her manus still holds her stitching. She waits on her male parent – “brought him a cup. put him a plate” but lets him cognize that she will non give in to his demands. when she takes up her stitching. Dialogue

    This narrative is dramatic. A batch of it is in the signifier of conversation. While Lucy is unagitated and sensible. the old adult male and Alice quarrel like kids. Note how the old adult male asks inquiries with the word “Hey” – “Waiting for Steven. hey? ”and “Think you’re old plenty to travel wooing. hey? ” . His menaces are infantile: “I’ll state your mother” and “I see you! ” Language

    Doris Lessing uses repeat in the narrative to reenforce inside informations of the scene ( sunlight. the frangipani tree. the gallery. Lucy’s run uping ) or to place people ( “the postmaster’s son” and “his daughter” or the “woman” ) . There are besides many mentions to people’s organic structures – to eyes. legs and hair. Is at that place a ground for this? Do they demo us people as they truly are ( as we might see them if we were present ) ? Or do they demo us people as the old adult male sees them? Is his noticing Alice’s “long bare legs” a spot upseting – we possibly think he should non see her in such a manner. Comparisons are really of import here. Many of them are to natural things. Alice’s long legs are likened to the frangipanni stems – “shining-brown” and fragrant. The old man’s fingers curl like claws ( an image which suggests his ain pigeons ) . Later Alice and Steven tumble like puppies – they are non yet basking grownup pleasance but their drama is a readying for what comes subsequently. Sometimes a individual word tells us a great trade: when the old adult male negotiations of “courting” he reveals the gulf between himself and Alice. She is struck by the “old-fashioned phrase” . Symbolism

    This narrative is really evidently one where symbolism is of import to our apprehension. Alice is clearly likened to the favorite pigeon. The old adult male can maintain the bird in. where he can non command Alice. But when he receives the new pigeon. he is able to let go of the front-runner: he accepts that closing it in is non right. The gift besides suggests that there may be some compensation for the old adult male in the new state of affairs. But truly he knows that nil can do up for the loss of his last grandchild. Analyzing Flight for English literature

    This subdivision of counsel will assist you if you are fixing coursework for appraisal in GCSE English literature. For most pupils there will be small or no difference between what you do for English and what you do for literature. In the UK these are seen as different topics. with somewhat different accents. For English you are expected to understand the significance and deductions of a text. For English literature. you will be expected to look more exhaustively at attitudes. techniques. deductions and effects of linguistic communication. This subdivision of counsel should demo you some things for which testers may be looking. For counsel on analyzing Flight for English tests. Attitudes

    Attitudes in the textIn this narrative the attitudes we learn about most clearly are those of the old adult male – we see most things through his eyes. Doris Lessing gives us his position as the get downing point or mention point. We can see Alice’s and Lucy’s non through narrative or description – merely in what they say to him. Steven’s point of view is about unseeable. The lone hint is his gift – but Alice may hold encouraged him to give the present. Attitudes behind the text

    How far does the narrative show ( or suggest ) premises about the universe that the writer makes? Are we encouraged to see any character’s position as being the “right” one to accept? This is a universe where work forces and adult females seem to hold clearly defined roles – can you see grounds of this? Attitudes in the reader

    Can you happen any grounds of what Doris Lessing assumes about her readers? This may look in things she explains and things she doesn’t explain. For a South African reader a frangipani tree is likely a common sight. but it may look alien to a European reader. One manner to look into this is to do a list of things you did non at first understand. or which you had to inquire about. If Doris Lessing wrote the narrative today or for a peculiar audience. what might she wish to alter? The writer

    If you write ( or speak ) about this narrative. seek to be cognizant that it has an writer. Suppose that the events in it had truly happened. Why would Doris Lessing choose to associate the things she does. while losing out others? For illustration. why is Steven about written out of the narrative? In the existent universe. all these people would be every bit of import as human existences. So why are they non equal as fictional characters? Does the narrative reflect a woman’s position of the universe. in your sentiment? If you did non cognize. could you think the sex of the author? How? Why does the writer compose so much about inside informations of the natural universe? Is this a narrative about nature for its ain interest. or more approximately nature as a manner of seeing human nature? Or is it something else? How far does the writer tell the reader how to construe the narrative? How far does she go forth us entirely to judge for ourselves? Comparisons

    It is easy to do comparings in the narrative. We are led to do comparings between these things. among others: * the attitudes of the old adult male and Alice* the statements of the old adult male and Lucy about Alice’s get marrieding * the old man’s thoughts of his granddaughters before and after matrimony * Alice and the front-runner pigeon* sunshine and heat at the start and twilight and cold at the terminal of the narrative * The old man’s initial rebelliousness and eventual credence of Steven’s wooing of Alice Can you think of any others? You can besides. of class. compare this narrative with others that have a similar subject – narratives about turning up. deriving independency and go forthing place. Implied significance

    Are there any things in the narrative that are non what they at first seem? Are there state of affairss that are bit by bit revealed to be other than what first appears? For illustration. does the reader at first accept the old man’s opinion of Steven. so larn what is incorrect with it? Do we anticipate that the old adult male will accept the loss of Alice? How do you react to the stoping of the narrative. where the old adult male is smiling proudly at his new pigeon’s Flight. while cryings run down Alice’s face. Readers and reading

    Reading the textState what you think the narrative means in a actual sense and in footings of subject.character and scene. Look at inside informations of imagination. linguistic communication and symbolism. Reading the writerTry to explicate what. in your position. the writer wants us to believe at assorted points. In making this you should mention to her narrative methods. Reading your ain readingBe prepared briefly to explicate your ain apprehension of the narrative. and how this changes while you are reading it for the first clip. and besides on subsequent readings. where you notice more inside informations. Analyzing Flight for reading coursework in English

    This subdivision of counsel will assist you if you are fixing coursework for appraisal in GCSE English. For most pupils there will be small or no difference between what you do for English and what you do for English literature. In the UK these are seen as different topics. with somewhat different accents. For English you are expected to understand the significance and deductions of a text. For English literature. you will be expected to look more exhaustively at attitudes. techniques. deductions and effects of linguistic communication. This subdivision of counsel should demo you some things for which testers may be looking. For counsel on analyzing Flight for English literature tests. If you are fixing work for English. it is likely that you will desire to compare Flight to one or more other texts. Try to take texts with an appropriate subject or capable. Subject. deductions and moral and philosophical context

    * In your ain words explain Alice’s relationship with her gramps. * How does the old adult male experience about Alice’s marrying?* How does he experience about Steven at the start and at the terminal of the narrative? * Try to explicate how the old adult male comes to accept the inevitableness of Alice’s get marrieding. * As you read the narrative. make you place with the old adult male. with Alice or some other character? Style. construction. narrative trade

    * This narrative. though written in the 3rd individual. is told about wholly from the old man’s point of position. How does this impact our reading of it? * How does Doris Lessing suggest other point of views?

    * Look at the descriptions the author gives of Steven. Alice and her sisters. non as they are. but as the old adult male sees them. How do these impact the reader’s response. ( See. for case. the paragraphs beginning at lines 12 [ “His eyes travelled” ] . line 96 [ “He idea of the other three girls…” ] and line 37 [ “Her smiling made him see her…” ] . * Remark on the construction of the narrative – how Doris Lessing makes the narrative about Alice parallel the secondary narration about the pigeon. Effectss of linguistic communication for affectional. dry. nonliteral consequence ;

    forms and inside informations of linguistic communication* Remark on the symbolism of the story’s rubric. Why is Flight a perfect rubric for this narrative? * Explain how the old man’s address is of import in the narrative. See the words he speaks to Lucy. to Alice and to the pigeon. * Both Alice and the old adult male call in the narrative. but Doris Lessing does non state us straight. How do we know they cry. and why is it of import? * How does the word “courting” ( l. 33 ) show the coevals spread in the narrative?

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    Doris Lessing: Flight Sample. (2017, Sep 03). Retrieved from

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