Flight Behavior earns its name, whether it’s the housewife, Dellarobia, running towards a new man, the monarchs flying to a new home, or the comment on social class when poor Appalachian women is told to help the environment by flying less.
While the butterfly migration stands out as the frequent flyer, it is important to remember the other definitions of the word flight, the more fitting description of flight in the context of the fight, Flight can be an escape from the confines of unrelenting and imminent disaster.
Dellarobia flees her husband when her husband becomes or is recognized as an inescapable force of benign intent but infuriating character. She can see no other way to salvation besides the first one she finds and in her desperation marches towards an ill-advised affair. He monarchs face an unknown and changed weather that leads them to one area of safety, they have no idea that they’ve committed to death and believe that the path that they’ve taken will save them.
Civilization faces a similar problem. Many of us feel the hunger pains and search for the first sign of food without thinking of the consequences. When those pains are no longer there; we still remember them vivid as day. We also remember that the world can make you hungry again, we’ve seen or been the victim of a closed factory an outsourced department. The hunger is always there and the fear of that life is a prison.
Telling civilization to endure hunger and work to prevent something that we do not know seems reasonable when that hunger is for a new car or a new house. But, the hunger to keep the crumbling house together, the hunger of choosing whether stealing is justified if it’s to feed your child, those we can feel. How do you explain to someone that they need to vote against a new factory and a consistent income in favor of clean air that they’re too anxious to enjoy?
Flight Behavior brings the beauty of the temporary salvation into the conversation on climate change; it shows the reasoning behind our sins and the ignorance that caused them, along with the fear of losing everything. Then it shows the truth behind our fears. We’re running from an attack and into a busy street. We will hunger and hurt, but if we do not, we will not survive.