Flight Study Guide

Flight was written by Sherman Alexie and published in 2007 by Black Cat, an imprint of Grove Press. A magical realist novel, it tells the story of a troubled Native American teen who has reached his breaking point after years of abuse at the hands of adults. Zits, the main character, feels excluded from society because of his half-Indian heritage and this abuse. When he is convinced by a charismatic boy named Justice to open fire in a bank, he is killed and brought on a mystical journey that changes his outlook on life.

Ultimately, the novel is about managing violence and disappointment in a post-09/11 world. Flight is written in a conversational, first person narrative by the main character. The perspective forces the reader to empathize with and examine the impulse towards violence. Alexie, who often writes about Native American youths in the United States, focuses on both the psychological and the sociological repercussions of marginalization as Zits struggles to balance his cultural past with his present circumstances.