Notes of the Chapter ‘His First Flight’: This lesson is from the book ‘First Flight’ published by NCERT for Class 10 Literature. The Notes comprise summary, theme and literary devices.
Summary: His First Flight
It is a story about a timid seagull who is intimidated by flying. His fear holds him back, while his siblings learn to fly. Through the story, the author communicates to us that success does not come overnight and the key to overcoming our fears is persistence and the courage to face them.
Broadly, Two Stories about Flying: His First Flight can be divided into:
- The Young Seagull’s Fear of Flying
- The Young Seagull Left Alone on the Ledge
- Increasing Hunger and Heat
- The Young Seagull’s Dive
- The Young Seagull’s Flight
- Joy of Flight and Reuniting with Family
The Young Seagull’s Fear of Flying
- The young seagull thought that his wings wouldn’t support him enough to fly. Thus, he feared flying.
- He believed that if he attempted to fly, he would fall off and drown in the sea.
- He watched his brothers and sister jump off the ledge and fly. But he was too afraid.
The Young Seagull Left Alone on the Ledge
- Even though his parents call him, he doesn’t move from the ledge.
- After scolding and threatening him, his parents leave him alone on a rock alone and without any food.
Increasing Hunger and Heat
- The young seagull watches his parents teach his siblings how to fly and hunt.
- In increasing hunger, he watches his brother catch and eat a fish.
- The young seagull feels the heat of the sun and tries to get his family’s attention. But they all ignore him.
The Young Seagull’s Dive
- Tired and desperate with hunger, the young seagull begs his mother to bring him food.
- His mother brings a piece of fish but holds it just out of the young seagull’s reach.
- The seagull, without thinking and maddened by hunger, dives for the food.
- He begins to fall down with a screech.
The Young Seagull’s Flight
- Afraid of drowning, the young seagull spreads his wings and attempts to fly.
- Although a little dizzy initially, he overcomes his fear and soars into the sky.
Joy of Flight and Reuniting with Family
- As the young seagull’s parents see him flapping his wings in the sky, they all gather to cheer and praise him.
- Then, they teach him how to land on the sea.
- Thus, the young seagull finishes his first flight in triumph.
The major theme of the chapter is overcoming fear.
- The theme of fear is shown through the seagull’s fear of falling off the ledge and into the sea.
- This fear of falling translates into his fear of flying. Even though his wings were bigger than his siblings, his fear wouldn’t let him dive off the ledge.
- It is this fear that leads him to disobey his parents and face increasing hunger and heat.
- Through the mother seagull’s trick, the young seagull learns how to overcome his fear.
- Then, after flying and learning how to land on water, the seagull triumphs over his fear.
The main characters in the story are:
- The Young Seagull
- Mother Seagull
The Young Seagull
Afraid: The young seagull was terrified of flying.
Stubborn: Even though he was scolded by his parents and was hungry, he refused to fly off the ledge.
Brave: He found his courage when he dived off the ledge and started flying.
Caring: She helped the young seagull’s brothers and sister learn how to fly and catch a fish.
Cunning: She used the young seagull’s hunger to motivate him to jump off the ledge and start to fly.
This chapter explores the use of symbolism to depict fear and overcoming fear.
- The ‘great expanse of sea’ is symbolic of the seagull’s fear of drowning and thus, failing.
- This, in turn, is the reason for his fear of flying.
- The young seagull’s jumping off the ledge is also symbolic of an individual facing his fear and overcoming it in triumph.