Ransom Character Analysis

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Motivation is a key aspect in Ransom, a novel created by Malouf, a reinterpretation of the Iliad. Characters challenge conventions and expectations in order to transform and Malouf presents heroism beyond the aesthetic of the usual homeric hero. Through foresight, a spiritual connection with the gods, juxtaposed with free will, characters expose and motivate themselves to a new experience. Characters are enabled to find curiously beauty in the ordinary, the most simplistic of acts and through unconventional thinking, they break free of preconceived notions. Malouf incorporates raw emotions, grief and loss characters are united by the aspect of mortality; enabling them to challenge their previous roles and expectations. Ransom enables characters…show more content…
Somax, a character created by Malouf highlights how an ordinary man with an ordinary life contrasts with Priam who struggles to find meaning and equilibrium in his life, unlike Somax. As Priam begins his journey with Somax, he is vulnerable to the way Somax interprets the ‘simplest of things,’ such as his ‘storytelling,’ and the way in which nature works and influences human life. In the instance where Priam steps off the cart to dip his feet into the water, the fish ‘found the royal feet every bit disappointing and without interest as the driver’s,’ emphasising the common humanity shared between the two. This difference in class is diminished through the shared experience of finding the beauty in the simplest of actions as in the case where Somax retells the making of the griddle cakes. These cakes symbolise Priam’s lack of knowledge of even the simplest of things. In the case of Somax, he finds the griddle cakes as regular and delectable snacks however Priam ‘has never seen them before.’ This unfamiliarity with cakes enables Malouf to use symbolism to represents Priam’s isolation from the ‘real world,’ from the objects that commoners perceive as ordinary. These experiences signify where Priam sees ‘common and low… activities and facts of life, had an appeal,’ showcasing a motivation in thinking,…show more content…
Malouf describes the actions of Achilles’ as to be vengeance to soften grief of losing his dear friend Patroclus, through the slaughter of Trojan prisoners and the defiling of Hector’s body. His body symbolises how revenge is not the answer to battle as nothing is gained except more pain and suffering, an incorporation on Malouf’s view on war. Priam’s state of despair was rooted in the effects of war, the fact that his son had died as a result of war and was being held by Achilles; showcasing mortality. When relying his new idea to Hecuba, he states, “it is true that the gods make me a king, but they also made me a man, and mortal,” showcasing the prospect of death as motivation. Displaying an underlying emotional motivation that allows Priam to break free of the conventional bonds. Contrastingly, the character of Somax is another character to compare as his motivations are rooted his identity and experiences of mortality; he has surviving grief about his son’s death due to his acceptance ‘that nothing will change if I punish her [Beauty].’ Malouf utilises Somax to introduce life as a cycle, that all things will come to an end through the foreboding embedded narratives that end with a moral. Malouf highlights the importance of the ‘misery of this moment will last forever,’ he utilises alliteration to emphasise subtle sadness of life
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