Champagne Flight

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Champagne Flight” by Jill Norris. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it. 


Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:


The champagne is considered a symbol of celebration. However, in this story, its symbolic meaning is subverted, because Serena has nothing to celebrate. Despite Serena’s efforts to pretend otherwise, she is not happy. More importantly, the narrator’s shifting attitude towards champagne mirrors her change of perspective on being older. In the beginning, the narrator thinks the champagne is a “definite improvement on the red wine”. The end reveals that the champagne has now become a reminder for the narrator that growing old can have consequences: “As for champagne, even now when I drink it I can’t help wondering what became of Serena Sinclair. I mean…what does happen to old strippers?”. While in the past, the narrator saw being older as something good, now she is able to see its disadvantages.

The red wine the narrator drinks is another symbol of maturity. The narrator does not order a soft drink because she does not want people to realize that she is a teenager. The narrator is excited about the prospect of drinking wine, but when she tastes it, she is disappointed because it is “bitter”. This symbolizes her changing attitude towards growing older: from anticipation and excitement to disappointment. The flight can be considered a symbol of life. The narrator is excited about it  because she is at the beginning of it. Serena hates it and needs alcohol and pills to cope with it.


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Champagne Flight

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