Flight Response

in Novel

‘Flight' is a story written by Sherman Alexie outlining the disastrous description of an orphaned Indian teenage boy who travelled everywhere in an aggressive search of his true individuality. According to the story, Zits is not a legal Indian as he was never claimed by his father who abandoned him as a result of his drunkenness. From the story it is clearly indicated that, when Zit was arrested he met ‘Justice' who gave him a gun (Alexie, 2007). Thing were not going well for Zits as he got shot in the head but rather than dying he end up travelling and embodied other people. While in this position, he was required to suffer in dreadful break through moments of hostility in the American history. In this case, he continued travelling where reserved the body of an Indian child during the fight at Little Bighorn. According to the story, he then rode with an Indian follower in the 19th century before he could appear as an airline pilot passing through the skies. During all these anxious expeditions through time, his desist grew on who to judge and in understanding people. On this basis, when he came to rest after being blessed in his current body, he was tremendously changed by all what he had seen and came across (Alexie, 2007).

It should be noted that, the themes portrayed in this novel are not clearly stated; for instance the theme of loneliness is depicted by the way Zits was abandoned by his father when he was born. A critique on this theme could be that, instances of loneliness are very few in the novel as the major one is when Zits was abandoned by his father. On this basis, the writer does not clearly portray this theme as Zits has been running away from different foster families (Alexie, 2007). In this case, the writer should have portrayed this theme by making Zits to be rejected by everybody in the novel. It is clearly indicated in the novel that, Zits was taken by Justice to live with him in a deserted warehouse; hence Zits was not always lonely. Further, Zits was not lonely as he was the one pushing everyone else away; a good example is in the instance where he punched his foster mother. On this basis, the theme of loneliness could not be one of the main themes as it was supported by vengeance and violence. Additionally, the plot of the book is very simple which provides low stressing reading and quick to finish. This is a critique because this story does not give the reader time to think as it is very obvious. On the other hand, the simplicity of this novel makes people to consider it as a children's story which is full of fiction and fail to critically comprehend the themes portrayed there in (Alexie, 2007).

It is of importance to note that, this novel has a lot of actions which are very monotonous, the fact that Zits is moving back and forth in history to experience varied changes becomes complex and monotonous. Further, this story is plotted in such a way that it contains a lot of graphics and instances of blasphemy hence not good to children below the age of thirteen. It can be revealed that, the Alexie's novel ‘Flight' is confusing and encourages readers to be revengeful (Alexie, 2007). It is confusing because Zits was shot in the head and instead of dying; he woke up as a White FBI in 1973 rather than 2007. Another critique of this novel is that, symbolism is very obvious at times; for instance the incarnation of Zits to the FBI agent and homeless Indian alcoholic are very obvious. Moreover, this novel shows that all Indians are alcoholics including the narrator himself which may not be true. As this book is designed for children below eighteen years, it contains a lot of terror that may make the readers fear despite the fact that it is simple to read. On the other hand, the author concentrated on building the primary characters like Zits through incarnations but lacked full and deep development of secondary characters like Zits' father who should be the one depicting the theme of alcoholism and lack of identity. On the other hand, Justice should be developed as another main character to portray the themes of violence and revenge as he was the one who gave Zits guns (Alexie, 2007).


Despite the critiques given about this novel, Alexie depicted instances of humor and anger with an intension of raising consciousness about the present condition. In this case, American Indians are forced into this condition by the virtue of their history of coercion and relocation.

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This article was published on 2011/06/02