Plus One English Notes Chapter 1 His First Flight

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Board SCERT, Kerala
Text Book NCERT Based
Class Plus One
Subject English Notes
Chapter Chapter 1
Chapter Name His First Flight
Category Plus One Kerala

Kerala Syllabus plus one English Notes Unit I Chapter 1 His First Flight  (Speech)

Chapter 1 His First Flight


Liam O’Flaherty (28 August 1896 to 7 September 1984) was born in Ireland. He was a great novelist and short-story writer. Many of his works have the common theme of nature. He was interested in sea-life and closely studied the life of seagulls (കടൽകാക്ക). The short story ‘His First Flight’ is one of his famous works. It is about the nervousness (ആശങ്ക) we experience before doing something new.



It was a family of six seagulls-father, mother, three brothers and a sister. They lived on the top of a ledge
(പാറക്കക്കട്ട്). The two elder brothers and the sister had already learned to fly. But the young seagull could not collect enough courage to fly. He saw the wide sea miles down beneath him from the top of the ledge. He became afraid. The parents had tried hard to get their young son to fly. They encouraged, scolded and threatened him. 

But the young seagull thought his wings would not support him.
The parents left the youngest son alone on his ledge and flew away to another ledge at some distance. The
two elder brothers and sister went with them. Now the baby seagull was alone on his ledge without food. He just watched his parents flying about with his brothers and sister. His parents were giving them training in skimming the waves and diving for fish. He saw his older brother catch his first herring (മത്തി) and eat it. The whole family laughed at the young seagull.

Twenty-four hours passed. The day was getting hot. The young seagull was hungry and tired. He felt the
heat of the sun. Last night he had found a dried piece of mackerel’s tail. He searched every inch of the ledge for food. He found only some pieces of eggshell in his nest. He began to trot (നടക്കുക) from one end of the ledge to the other. He was trying to reach his parents without having to fly. But it was impossible. Each side of the ledge was steep-down; His parents were on another rock. It was the wide sea between the two rocks. His father and siblings (സഹ ാദരങ്ങൾ) were busy with themselves. Only his mother was looking at him. She was worried about her son.

The young seagull stood on one leg at the edge of the high rock. He closed his eyes and pretended to be
falling asleep. He was hungry for twenty-four hours. He saw his mother tearing a piece of fish. The sight of food maddened him. He cried with hunger. Mother seagull picked up a piece of fish and flew across to him. When she reached just near her son, she became motionless in the air. She did not get down on the ledge. The young seagull dived at the fish in his mother’s beak. Just then she flew upwards.

The young seagull lost his balance. He fell down from the rock into space. Now he was in the open air.
He saw the wide sea beneath him. He became much frightened. The next moment, his wings spread outwards.

He flapped his wings again and again and started to fly. His family joined him on his first flight. He flew
upwards and then dived. His parents, brothers and sister flew around him. Finally, he landed on the sea. Now he was floating on water. He knew he would not sink. He was no longer afraid. His family praised him. They offered him scraps of dogfish. He had made his first flight.

 Review of 'His First Flight'

Liam O’Flaherty’s ‘His First Flight’ is one of his most famous works. It is a parable (a short moral story). It symbolizes the nervousness we experience before doing something new. The theme is ‘Overcoming fears in life. We need to be independent and confident in life. We must not live away from family. Our family is a source of inspiration and motivation. Parental guidance, encouragement and discipline have a major role in shaping the future of children.

Mother seagull does the trick to get her young son to fly. Leaving him alone on the ledge without food did not work well. She decided to exploit his hunger. A piece of fish right in front; he went for it, and he was in the air, making his first flight. The baby seagull faced a crisis, a do-or-die situation, fall or fly. He had good wings. But he was in a state of fear and ignorance. He had no belief in the strength of his wings. He knew their strength only when his life was in danger.

Flaherty creates effective word pictures. We have the feeling that we see what we read. Each and every
movement of the birds is given in all its details. Birdlife and habits are revealed clearly in the story.
Flaherty’s seagull is not a bird. It is every beginner, always afraid of taking the first step. The story gives the message ‘Conquer fear, and we realize that we are born with wings’.

Questions and Answers

1: What are the requirements to attain success in life?
 Answer: To succeed in life means to achieve our life goals. We must know our potential (കഴിവ്). We need to build self-confidence. It will help us set our goal in life. Good planning and hard work with patients should follow. We must be ready to take risks. Motivation will help the start. Parental guidance and support are also necessary.

2: identify the factors that prevented the seagull from flying and those that favoured his flight.
Answer: Failure: Lack of self-confidence, fear and parents’ care.
Success: Need, hunger, motivation and attempt.

3. Why was the young seagull afraid to fly? Do you think all young birds are afraid to make their first flight?
Do you think a human baby also finds it a challenge to take its first steps?
Answer: The young seagull had the fear of falling into the sea. It is not a simple act of flying. It is about growing independent. Any animal or bird, including humans, is afraid to take the first step. A child cries on his first day at school. The child is going to face the outside world. Parents are not there to protect the child. So, the kid has some fear. Once you enter college, you are anxious in the first few days. But overcoming that nervousness will give you confidence.

4. “The sight of the food maddened him.” What does this suggest? What compelled the young seagull to
finally, fly?
Answer: If the seagull’s parents had continued to feed him, he would not have tried to fly. But hunger,
along with the sight of food, compelled him to fly and reach for the sky. Too much help from parents will not do good to children.

5. What lesson do you learn from this story?
Answer: The writer talks about a young seagull that is afraid to fly. Through the story gives the moral of
confidence and self-reliance. Parents cannot take the responsibility of looking after their children forever. So
everyone should try to become independent. No task is too difficult to achieve, but we must take a risk and try.

6. Why do first attempts always appear difficult?
Answer: It is very difficult to do something for the first time because of the fear of failure. It always seems
impossible until it is done.

7. Prepare a write-up on your initial attempts at learning a new skill.
Answer: Experiences build our confidence. Like everyone, I too had difficult experiences in my high school classes. I was very nervous about facing and talking to others. But when days passed, that day came. Each student must make a speech. It was part of CE work. I was heartbroken when the teacher told us about the speech. I went home and talked to myself looking at the mirror. I took a topic for speech and prepared. Then I presented my speech before my family. Then that day came. I went to school. Then it was my turn. When my speech was over, the class was filled with applause.

Plus One English Notes

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