Summary / Appreciation / Review

‘His First Flight’ is an inspiring short story by Liam O’Flaherty.  It is a psychological study of why people find it difficult to take initiative in life.  The story also suggests some solutions to the issue.  The story also emphasizes the role of parents in the formation of children.

A young seagull was afraid to make its first flight.  His parents tried everything to make him fly.  They even threatened to starve him.  But nothing worked.  Then the mother played a trick on him.  Picking up a piece of fish, she flew near him and stopped just in front of him.  Maddened by hunger he jumped for the fish forgetting about the danger involved.  During his headlong fall his wings spread and naturally he was able to fly.

To take the initiative one needs confidence and courage.  Only a self-reliant person will be able to succeed in life.  Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith in order to start something.  As in the old saying, well begun is half done. 

When we are doubtful about our own abilities, some external intervention may become necessary.  Parents have a great role in instilling courage and hope in children.  Parents may take some decisions that may appear harsh but in the long run they will be for the good of the children.  Children should have the good sense to understand this.

The story is highly inspiring and motivating.  It is written as a third person narrative in a simple language.  The simplicity itself lends beauty to the story.
 
Theme of the story
 
His First Flight is the story of a young seagull who was afraid to attempt his first flight.  The story is about the importance of confidence, courage and bravery in attaining success.  The story is also about the role of others, especially the parents in imparting these qualities in the youngsters.  To impart motivation and to cajole someone into action, sometimes you may need some tact just as the mother seagull does.