Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Flight And Freedom

"Free as a bird."

Flight is a symbol of freedom. Indeed, the ability to fly away from any situation is the most basic freedom. Poul Anderson's Ythrians, intelligent winged carnivores, are most alive when, by flapping their wings, they pump oxygen into their veins, then soar through the sky of Ythri or Avalon. Many human Avalonians "go bird," i.e., join Ythrian choths and fly with gravbelts.

Even in a spaceship, Ythrians need room to spread their wings and cannot be confined in spacesuits. Spaceflight is a symbol of freedom for Terrans but not for Ythrians. Hloch, wearied of the void, returned to the winds.

I have been making some comparisons with James Bond but always with the Bond of the books, not of the films. However, in the pre-credits sequence of the film, Thunderball, the Sean Connery James Bond demonstrates freedom from responsibility by assassinating an opponent, then flying away from any pursuit, using a jet pack.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

When closely examined, I wonder how TRUE that common term "free as a bird" truly is. Even Ythrians are not wholly free, not if they violate too far the laws and customs of their choths. Offenders can even be enslaved by having their wings clipped (altho by the time of THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND slavery was dying out).