In The Skin Of A Lion Essay

1074 Words 5 Pages
When studying a novel it sometimes helps to look at the language used in a specific passage. In the novel In The Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje, this approach is extremely helpful. It will help you better understand the characters and give you a clearer idea of what the author is trying to say. Within the novel, the passage entitled “The Skating Scene,'; where Patrick observes the loggers skating late at night, is stylistically interesting. By looking at metaphors, symbolism and diction, we can gain a better understanding of the characters and make connections within the scene and then to the novel as a whole.
     In “The Skating Scene'; many metaphors are used throughout, making is very
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The fire he sets to the Muskoka Hotel and the attempted bombing of the waterworks both happen at night and are both examples of things that are unlike his character. Metaphorically speaking Patrick is a moth.
     Symbolism is also something that is seen quite often in this passage. Skating is a symbol that represents freedom. When you are skating, you are in control of what you do; you are free to do and try whatever you desire. During the day, the immigrants work for Harris, helping to build his dream and getting paid poorly for it. They follow orders all day, and now at night they finally have a chance to be free of the rules. This idea of freedom can be related to Caravaggio who, while in jail, has to follow strict rules and whose freedom is restricted. The only way to get his freedom back is to escape, so that is what he does. For the loggers, the only way to escape and have some feeling of freedom is to skate at night. Specific phrases used to describe the men skating shows that it is like a dance. “One man waltzing with his fire'; (page 22), “each step seemed graceless and slow'; (page 21), and “they could leap into the air'; (page 21), are all characteristics of dancing. Dancing is another example that represents freedom, which is perhaps why Ondaatje makes the parallel between skating and dancing in this

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