Detailed Analysis of Flight
In Sherman Lexis’s novel Flight the main character, Zits, struggles with the loss of his mother, finding his Native American identity, and figuring out where he belongs in the world. At the beginning of the novel, Zits is a distraught adolescent.
He is famous for arson, abuses his many foster mothers, and runs away a lot. Zits travels through time and sees that violence and evil aren’t the solution to his problems and is then able to turn himself into the police and begin a new life as a more prominent person.
The novel is told from Zits point of view in first person so the reader is able o see all of his thoughts. A major conflict of Flight is man versus society. Zits is a delinquent that has been constantly put down by the general public.
Zits shared, “l recognize his voice. I know this guy. He’s arrested me a few dozen times. “(Alexei 17) He has committed innumerable crimes and been to Jive several times. In this quote he is referring to Officer Dave who has made some of his arrests. Society expects him to misbehave and break the law because it’s how he has been for so long.
He also has no parents or family to teach him to act differently. As Zits is about to shoot up a bank, he goes n a time travel. He visits various locations, events from history, and people’s bodies. By the end of his Journey, he discovers that he no longer wants to be seen as a criminal. He turns himself into the police and Officer Dave rescues him from the foster system. Zits revises his way of life and tries to do the right thing.
He works towards becoming a good citizen beginning with not running away from his new home and being respectful towards Officer Dave and his brother.
Zits also grappled with the conflict man versus self. The novel begins with Zits introducing himself. “Call me Zits. Everybody calls me Zits. That’s not my real name, of course.
My real name isn’t important. ” (Alexei 1). Zits will not reveal what his real name is because he thinks it’s insignificant since he doesn’t know his true identity. His Irish mother passed away when he was six years old and his Native American father left right after he was born. The lack of his parents has tremendously affected his life.
Zits said, “l am Irish and Indian, which would be the coolest blend in the world if my parents were around to teach me how to be Irish and Indian.
But they’re not here and haven’t been for years, so I’m not really Irish or Indian. I’m a blank sky, a unman solar eclipse. ” (Alexei 5) After Zits time travel, he moves into Officer Dive’s brother’s house. Dave and his brother offer to take him to see a baseball game. His new foster mom presents him with face soap and demonstrates how one should take care of their skin so that their acne will clear up.
At last, Zits feels like he has found a place in society where he pertains.
He finally says, “My real name is Michael. Please, call me Michael. “(Alexei 181) One literary element that is very prominent in this book is the characterization of Zits. The name “Zits” came from the appearance of his face as well as the self- unconsciousness he feels towards his acne. After his mother’s bereavement, Zits lived with his only family member, his mom’s sister.
Her boyfriend physically and sexually abused him. When Zits left their home, he lived in twenty-one different foster homes with only white foster parents.
He wondered why and hoped to eventually get placed with a Native American family because he was struggling with learning about that part of who he is. He was always very heavy-hearted and he felt that no one ever understood him. All of his belongings could fit into one backpack. He was a victim of physical, mental, and sexual abuse.
At the last foster home, as he had done at all of the others, he pushed his foster mom and ran out. Officer Dave, who knew Zits from previous arrests, caught him and took him to Jive. In Jive, Zits met Justice, his first and only friend, and his life changed.
Justice understood him and helped him escape from the halfway house that he was sent to. Justice taught Zits how to shoot guns and brainwashed him into shooting up a bank. Instead of following through, Zits travels through time to an assortment of situations and into the bodies of distinctive people.
He learned that even though his father was never part of his life, e did care about him. He witnessed numerous acts of violence and wars. By the end of his time travel, Zits was a changed person. He was willing to stay with Officer Dive’s brother and sister-in-law because they made him believe that he was welcome.
Zits revealed to them and the reader that his real name is Michael. Characterization is important in this novel because it shows how Zits transformed into Michael through his experiences and time travel.
Likewise, it shows how Zits learned how to love and be loved, as well as be a part of a family. A major theme of this novel is forgiveness. Before Zits goes to shoot up the bank, e has an uncaring attitude. Every time he gets in trouble or ends up stuck someplace he doesn’t yearn to be, he runs away and commits another crime.
He has no confidence in himself and can’t see anything positive in his forthcoming.
After his time travel, Zits is able to determine that if he admits he has done wrong he can be forgiven and assisted. He is able to turn himself into the police and is given another chance at life. He moves into a new foster home with Officer Dive’s brother. He respects his new caregivers and feels like Office Dave doesn’t loathe him for the life he used to lead. When he reveals that his name is Michael, he is finally able to forgive himself for his past and move on and start a new, better life.
Throughout Zits’ transformation, there are several allusions to historic violent acts, such as 9/1 1 and the Battle of Little Bighorn. These events showed Zits what violence does. They helped him to acknowledge that violence won’t solve his problems. There was also an allusion to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. This act says that Native American foster children are to be placed in homes that practice Native American culture.
Zits’ father’s name wasn’t put on his birth certificate therefore he was not included in this act and never got placed with Native American families.
He wanted to be put with a Native American family because he wanted to get to know that part of him. Sherman Alexei uses a handful of literary techniques including, conflict, allusion and characterization to portray the struggles and transformation of the main character, Zits, in his novel Flight. These techniques make it easier to understand the life that Zits has lived and help bring about his transformation into a new person.