Jonathan Livingston Seagull

by

Richard Bach

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Fletcher Lynd Seagull Character Analysis

A young gull who, like Jonathan, is drawn to experiments with flight. When Fletcher is introduced in the narrative, he has just been Outcast from his own Flock, and as he makes his way out to the Far Cliffs, he meets Jonathan, who has just returned from the plane beyond earth to spread the wisdom he has garnered to the earthly Flocks. Fletcher becomes Jonathan’s friend and pupil, and is “nearly a perfect flight-student” due to the combination of his strength and dexterity along with his “blazing drive” to learn. When Jonathan departs the earth after rumors of his being divine have started, he leaves his legacy in the hands of Fletcher, his closest confidante, and Fletcher soon bears the burden of having been the closest living gull to Jonathan. Fletcher must contend with his own specific kind of celebrity, then, and even in death, Fletcher is revered as a chosen, special friend of the “divine” Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Fletcher Lynd Seagull Quotes in Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The Jonathan Livingston Seagull quotes below are all either spoken by Fletcher Lynd Seagull or refer to Fletcher Lynd Seagull. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Jonathan Livingston Seagull published in 2014.
Part Two Quotes

Fletcher Lynd Seagull was still quite young, but already he knew that no bird had ever been so harshly treated by any Flock, or with so much injustice.

"l don't care what they say," he thought fiercely, and his vision blurred as he flew out toward the Far Cliffs. "There's so much more to flying than just flapping around from place to place! A... a ... mosquito does that! One little barrel-roll around the Elder Gull, just for fun, and I’m Outcast! Are they blind? Can't they see? Can't they think of the glory that it'll be when we really learn to fly?

"l don't care what they think. I'll show them what flying is! I'll be pure Outlaw, if that's the way they want it. And I'll make them so sorry […]."

The voice came inside his own head, and though it was very gentle, it startled him so much that he faltered and stumbled in the air.

"Don't be harsh on them, Fletcher Seagull. ln casting you out, the other gulls have only hurt themselves, and one day they will know this, and one day they will see what you see. Forgive them, and help them to understand."

An inch from his right wingtip flew the most brilliant white gull in all the world, gliding effortlessly along, not moving a feather, at what was very nearly Fletcher's top speed.

There was a moment of chaos in the young bird.

"What's going on? Am I mad? Am I dead? What is this?"

Low and calm, the voice went on within his thought, demanding an answer. "Fletcher Lynd Seagull, do you want to fly?"

"YES, I WANT TO FLY!"

Related Characters: Jonathan Livingston Seagull (speaker), Fletcher Lynd Seagull (speaker), Elder Gull
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Three Quotes

"To begin with," he said heavily, "you've got to understand that a seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself."

The young gulls looked at him quizzically. Hey, man, they thought, this doesn't sound like a rule for a loop.

Fletcher sighed and started over. "Hm. Ah […] very well," he said, and eyed them critically. "Let's begin with Level Flight." And saying that, he understood all at once that his friend had quite honestly been no more divine than Fletcher himself.

Related Characters: Fletcher Lynd Seagull (speaker), Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Page Number: 91
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Four Quotes

When Fletcher didn't show up on the beach in the next week, when he vanished without leaving a note, the Flock was in brief consternation. But then they gathered together, and thought, and decided what must have happened. It was announced that Gull Fletcher had been seen, surrounded by the other Seven First Students, standing on what would henceforth be known as the Rock of Oneness, and then the clouds had parted and the Great Gull Jonathan Livingston Seagull himself, clad in royal plumes and golden shells, with a crown of precious pebbles upon his brow, pointing symbolically to sky and sea and wind and earth, had called him up to the Beach of Oneness and

Fletcher had magically risen, surrounded by holy rays, and the clouds had closed again over the scene to a great chorus of gull-voices singing.

And so the pile of pebbles on the Rock of Oneness, in sacred memory of Gull Fletcher, was the biggest pile of pebbles on any coastline anywhere on earth. Other piles were built everywhere in replica, and each Tuesday afternoon the Flock walked over to stand around the pebbles and hear the miracles of Jonathan Livingston Seagull and his Gifted Divine Students.

Related Symbols: Pebbles
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:
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Fletcher Lynd Seagull Character Timeline in Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The timeline below shows where the character Fletcher Lynd Seagull appears in Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Two
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
Back on Earth, a gull named Fletcher Lynd Seagull has just been Outcast to the Far Cliffs. As he flies, he thinks... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
Fletcher sees a brilliant white gull appear at his wing—he wonders what is happening, and whether... (full context)
Part Three
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
Jonathan circles the Far Cliffs, watching as his new pupil, Fletcher, flies through the air. Fletcher is strong, light, quick, and best of all, determined. Despite... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
...quickly and as deftly as they can. Pupils who’d never shone before give standout performances. Fletcher Seagull conquers a complicated slow roll, and the following day, as the public practice continues,... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
One morning, Fletcher reports to Jonathan that the word in the Flock is that Jonathan is perhaps the... (full context)
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
One morning, during flight practice, Fletcher narrowly misses striking a young bird on its first flight. To avoid slamming into the... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
The voice tells Fletcher that he has a choice: he can either stay on this new level, which is... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
When Fletcher awakes back on the shore, a crowd has gathered around him. Some proclaim him the... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
By the morning, the Flock has forgotten its insanity, but Fletcher has not—he asks Jonathan how it will be possible to love the Flock when they... (full context)
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
Jonathan’s body begins to shimmer in the air and become transparent. He begs Fletcher not to let the others spread “silly rumors” that he is a god. He urges... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
Fletcher reluctantly ascends to the sky and faces his brand-new group of students. He is devastated... (full context)
Part Four
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
Fletcher and Jonathan’s other pupils begin making missionary journeys to every flock on the coastline, spreading... (full context)
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
Fletcher becomes an icon in his own right, and gulls flock to him just for the... (full context)
Individualism vs. Collectivism Theme Icon
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
...all—rather, gulls simply stand on the beach, reciting poems and histories about “the Divine One.” Fletcher and Jonathan’s other original pupils are puzzled, frightened, and even angry at the change, but... (full context)
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
Self-Determination Through Mind, Body, and Spirit Theme Icon
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
Fletcher is the last of the original flock to pass away, during a solitary session of... (full context)
Innovation vs. Tradition  Theme Icon
The Misinterpretation of Doctrine Theme Icon
The pile of pebbles on the Rock of Oneness, in commemoration of “Gull Fletcher,” grows enormous. Other piles are built in tribute, and Flocks all around the coastline gather... (full context)