Record in detail the old man’s emotions and moods he experiences, from text and own comments
“Flight” is about the relationship between the grandfather and his granddaughter, and the love and passion he has for her, how he finds it hard to let her go and accept her as a woman.
In “Flight” we have the granddaughter introducing the idea of her boyfriend Steven to her grandfather. He is not happy with the idea and resents the fact she is so happy. He doesn’t understand why she is so in love and thinks he knows more about love and life then her.
” ‘But its not like that at all,’ he muttered miserably. ‘It’s not like that. Why can’t you see? Running and giggling, and kissing and kissing. You’ll come to something quite different.” This quote clearly suggesting he think his granddaughter is too young to be in love. And that he doesn’t want her to be so happy. His granddaughter’s actions annoy him quite a lot, he gets frustrated easily and acts like a child at times,
” He stumped his feet alternately, thump, thump, on the hollow wooden floor and shouted: ‘She’ll marry him. I’m telling you, she’ll be marrying him next!’ ” This quote suggests his childish behavior. The way he stamps his feet, similar to the way a small child would do if he were not happy, intending to make an inappropriate noise (the hollow wooden floor would echo).
In “Flight” the grandfather is very possessive of his granddaughter. He doesn’t want to let her go because he will be left alone and no one will want him. This makes him quite bitter towards her, even though he loves her very much.
” ‘She’s the last,’ he mourned. ‘Can’t we keep her a bit longer?’ ” This shows how he is finding it very hard to let her go. The youngest of four granddaughters is now leaving him and he doesn’t want her to go.
He is not only bitter about his granddaughter but about life in general. He is quite cruel, and has a short temper. We can see this by the way he treats his granddaughter and specifically, his birds.
“His mood shifted. He deliberately held out his wrist for the bird to take flight, and caught it again at the moment it spread its wings. He felt the plump shape strive and strain under his fingers …” The way he fooled the bird into thinking it could be free then quite bitterly grasped it back before it could move suggests his resentment- he resents that the birds are so happy (like his granddaughter) and he doesn’t want them to be. He feels better by stopping them doing what makes them happy. Similarly to what he would like to do to his granddaughter.
The grandfather is also very overprotective of his granddaughter, he doesn’t trust her boyfriend at all.
” … Red-handed, red-throated, violent-bodied youth…” The way he describes the post masters son as ‘red-handed’ which is often a term associated with thieves and in particular criminals shows he doesn’t trust him at all. ‘Violent bodied’ again, which shows he thinks the boyfriend is an aggressive young person who may not take care of his granddaughter.
His actions pretty much showed what he was thinking, you could tell what he thought of things by the way he acted and things he did.
“He confronted her, his eyes narrowed, shoulders hunched, tight in a hard knot of pain which included the preening birds, the sunlight, the flowers…” At that point in the story, the way his actions and moves were described, its easier to imagine what he is doing and what he must be thinking about his granddaughter.
In “Flight” we can see how the birds that the grandfather takes care of and keeps are representing the granddaughter and how he wants to keep her to himself.
He treats the birds much like he treats his granddaughter. He locks away the birds, he never lets them fly and be happy, just how he does with Alice.
” ‘Pretty, pretty, pretty’ he said as he grasped the bird and drew it down… ” Suggesting that he admires the birds but keeps them for himself like his granddaughter. He loves her very much and we can see this when he compares her to something beautiful.
“…And her long bare legs repeated the angles of the frangipani stems, bare, shining brown stems among patterns of pale blossoms.” He compares his granddaughter to nature. Natural beauty is something, which is considered to be a great thing, and he easily thinks his granddaughter is.
The old man’s emotions throughout the story reflect his granddaughter and relate to many things, mainly his birds.
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