In The Skin Of A Lion Analysis

927 Words4 Pages
The barrier of language imposed on a migrant by their context must be overcome by taking control of their own lives to confront and oppose the notion of official history and take responsibility for their own personal story. This idea is represented in Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion which utilises the underlying notion of migrant marginalisation and the foregrounding of individual micro-narratives to effectively showcase the tension between the characterisation of conflict and resolution to a full extent. These ideas are explored by Ondaatje through the representation of language, personal metamorphosis and capitalist critique to underscore the conflict existing within the novel. The oppressive nature of language causes conflict within…show more content…
This tension is shown in “Start with their luxuries – their select clubs, their summer mansions” illustrating the inherent differences of the classes with the repetition of ‘their’ separating the rich from the other classes climaxing in a class conflict. This idea of a class conflict is reflected in Alice’s rhetorical question “You forgive him and nothing changes... why leave the poor in his hands?” showcasing Ondaatje’s critique of the rich and by extension, capitalism. This leads into Patrick’s meeting with Temelcoff their narratives with Temelcoffs as the successful migrant resolving his previous conflict with language. This idea is furthered by the personification of “This was his first child and it had already become a murderer” which symbolises the inherent nature of capitalism, in which classes are treated differently and follow different rules promoting the migrants need for a confrontation. This idea is supported by Anne Enright’s “ideology is not just made human by this novel, it is undone,” emphasising the concept of conflict and resolution represented by Ondaatje. These influences eventually lead to Patrick defining himself “making animal-like noises of satisfaction” when he himself eventually resolves his confrontation between the upper classes. This is further reinforced in “the stuffed animal heads in the playground of the rich” which illustrates the effects of the tension preceding the resolution. Hence Ondaatje highlights the character Patrick to demonstrate the inherent concerns of conflict and thus his criticism of the established

More about In The Skin Of A Lion Analysis

Open Document