The Kite: A Symbol in Nineteenth-Century Literature
Riet, C.M. van
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This thesis attempts to contribute to the contemporary discussions on the notion of flight in the nineteenth century. By examining a large corpus of nineteenth century texts discussing the kite, and placing these in a historical context, I argue that the kite was successfully used as a highly creative and adaptable symbol. By tracing the reception of the kite from Franklin and his contemporaries to the late Victorian era, I show that visions of flight developed and transformed in a number of ways. This analysis opens up a virgin field in aviation history and literary studies, by examining the reception and symbolism of the kite through literature. This approach signals the need for further research into the significance of the kite, as it rivals the balloon in the complexity of its cultural relevance, but has remained curiously neglected.