HIS FIRST FLIGHT – LIAM O’FLAHERTY

Presentation video created by Ms.Sajeena Shukkoor

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HIS FIRST FLIGHT by LIAM O’ FLAHERTY

The short story “His First Flight” by Irish author Liam O’ Flaherty is about a family of seagulls. He narrates vividly how a frightened seagull learns to fly. This story is a metaphorical representation of a human’s need to be independent and confident. This story highlights the importance of independence and self confidence. At the same time it emphasizes the utmost need of living beings to remain involved in family life.

Once a young seagull was standing alone on a rock in the sea. He was very much afraid of flying. His parents taught his sister and two brothers how to fly and dive for fish. They tried their level best to teach the young seagull to fly but in vain. One day his parents thought a plan to teach him the art of flying. All the members of the family flew away to another rock and left him alone. They did not give him anything to eat. The young seagull was maddened with hunger. He even tried to walk to the edge of the rock. He stood there on one leg and closed his eyes to attract the attention of his family. He saw his mother tearing a piece of fish. He begged his mother to give him food. But mother was putting him alone only to teach him a lesson. After some time she took a piece of fish in her beak and came flying over him. When she reached over him she became motionless in the air. She did not get down on the rock. She wanted to give the young seagull an incentive to fly. The young seagull bent forward and jumped at the fish. But his mother flew upward. So he lost his balance and flew down from the rock into the space. He became very much frightened. After a moment he felt his wings spreading upwards. He flapped his wings and soared upwards. His parents and siblings flew around him to encourage him. They were extremely happy and they all expressed their joy on his successful flight. Through this wonderful story, the author provides a psychological insight into life’s problems and the ways of overcoming them. This story relates the importance of independence and self confidence.

“To dominate the Fear” is the central idea of this story. Flaherty is a great Irish novelist and essayist and short story writer. He was a keen observer and was interested in sea-life. He spent much time on sea shore and studied the life of seagulls quite closely. Through this story the writer conveys the moral of having self-confidence and self-reliance. The parents can support us to a certain extent but not forever. So we all should try to become independent in our own way.

Prepared by Joy Peter HSST English

Liam O’Flaherty,  (born August 28, 1896, Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland—died September 7, 1984, Dublin), Irish novelist and short-story writer whose works combine brutal naturalism, psychological analysis, poetry, and

biting satire with an abiding respect for the courage and persiste159691-004-FFC927C7nce of the Irish people. He was considered to be a leading figure of the Irish Renaissance.

O’Flaherty abandoned his training for the priesthood and embarked on a varied career as a soldier in World War I and an international wanderer in South America, Canada, the United States, and the Middle East. He laboured in such occupations as lumberjack, hotel porter, miner, factory worker, dishwasher, bank clerk, and deckhand. After taking part in revolutionary activities in Ireland, O’Flaherty settled in England in 1922; he returned to Dublin in the mid-1920s. His books include Thy Neighbour’s Wife (1923), his successful first novel; The Black Soul (1924), the story of a tormented former soldier who seeks tranquillity on a remote western isle; The Informer (1925; adapted as an Oscar-winning film by John Ford, 1935), about a confused revolutionary who betrays his friend during the Irish “troubles”; Skerrett (1932), a critically acclaimed story of conflict between a parish priest and a teacher; Famine (1937), a re-creation of the effect of the Irish famine of the 1840s on the individuals of a small community; Short Stories (1937; rev. ed. 1956); Insurrection (1950), a novel dealing with the Easter Rising of 1916; The Pedlar’s Revenge and Other Stories (1976); as well as several other novels and collections of short stories. His autobiography, Shame the Devil, was published in 1934.

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