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The Concluding Rites of Sherman Alexei’s Novel

Today, I would wish to begin my presentation not with a greeting, but with a question: “Is man by nature good or evil? ” You must be wondering, “What does human nature have to do with our topic? ” So before I move on and answer that question, allow me now to greet you a pleasant day! For today’s presentation, I will be dwelling on Sherman Alexei’s novel “Flight,” especially on its closing chapters. In the novel’s final three chapters, Zits, the story’s protagonist, finally returned to his own body after a long “flight” from one time zone to another. Zits finds himself about to shoot people in the same bank where his “flights” began.

However, learning from his “flights”, he turned himself in and changed for the better (Powell n. p. ). For centuries, the morality of human nature has been a matter of debate and discussion. Spiritualists claim that since God is good, then we are definitely good, because we were fashioned in God’s likeness. However, others argue the opposite (Answers Corporation n. p. ). In the novel, when Zits shot all those people at the bank lobby, can we say that he, as a human being, was by nature evil? But when he transformed at the end of the story, can his transformation be attributed to the possibility that he was really by nature good?

You see, human nature played a lot of roles all throughout the novel, and especially in its latter parts. All throughout the book, the natural tendency of humans for violence, for inflicting pain, for hatred, for revenge, and for anger, was brutally exposed, emphasized, analyzed, and then given meaning. Yet more than all of these, the novel also beautifully portrayed the instinctive human nature that yearns for love and belonging. From the beginning, Zits had known only the experience of rejection from his father. He grew up with this rejection, ultimately lashing out on the world he believes rejected him.

Thus, he became a ‘bridge that was wrongly built. ’ And I once heard somewhere that in order to rebuild a bridge that was wrongly built, one has to destroy it at its foundations and build it anew. In a sense, Zits’ time travel served as the knife that severed him from his wrong foundation, finally giving him the chance to rebuild himself. Chapters 19 to 21, the final chapters of the novel, served as the final pieces that completed the puzzle of Zits’ life – the final links that corrected everything wrong in his life.

With Zits’ decision to not shoot the people in the bank, he was rewarded with a family, and the realization that the world had not rejected him, but it was he who had been rejecting the world all along. His acceptance of his new family put an end to the infinite cycle of hatred and violence he was trapped in. Most of all, it completed the ring of trust and love that enabled Zits to live again. The way Alexei formed the final chapters of the novel concluded the story perfectly: the first part of the novel was linked to the last. The novel began with the words “Call me Zits,” implying Zits’ high-handed refusal to acknowledge society.

This is then negated at the end of the book, when Zits humbly acknowledged, “I’m beginning to think I’ve been given a chance. I’m beginning to think I might have a real family. My real name is Michael. Please call me Michael. ” In conclusion, going back to my opening question, perhaps we can answer that man by nature is neither good nor evil. As demonstrated by the decision of Zits – or rather, Michael – to turn himself in, every human being is capable of both good and evil: and that like most things in life, it is simply a matter of choice.

References Alexie, Sherman. Flight. 28 March 2007. Answers Corportaion. “Is man by nature good or evil? ” 2008. Answers. com. 20 August 2010 <http://wiki. answers. com/Q/Is_man_by_nature_good_or_evil>. British Columbia. “Novel Study: Flight. ” 2009. British Columbia. 20 August 2010 <http://www. sd74. bc. ca/abed/novel%20study%20-%20Flight. pdf>. Powell. “Flight: A Novel. ” March 2008. Powell’s City of Books. 20 August 2010 <http://www. powells. com/biblio/9780802170378>

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