Summary Of In The Skin Of A Lion Ondaatje

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In his historical metafiction In the skin of a Lion, Ondaatje explores the importance of storytelling and the authority and power that comes with it. “Patrick's gift, that arrow into the past, shows him the wealth in himself, how he has been sown into history. Now he will begin to tell stories. He is a tentative man, even with his family. That night in bed shyly he tells the story of the nun”. This is the first example of someone, in this case, Nicholas Temelcoff, being empowered by the knowledge of his past and his importance in history. Patrick researching the building of the bridge and uncovering that Alice was the nun ,and Temelcoff saving her when she fell from the bridge, was what caused this. This excerpt helped form my understanding of what I thought Ondaatje was saying. He begins by stating that a story can no longer ‘be told as though it were the only one’. For…show more content…
It is not until he is introduced to the compilation of characters that help shape his understanding that “His own life was no longer a single story but part of a mural, which was a falling together of accomplices”. Once he realizes this he confronts the dictating power, Rowland Harris, who he blames for Alice's death and threaten to blow up the Tunnel he help build and many others died in. In this scene, Patrick is able to name himself “I’m Patrick Lewis”. The presence light and darkness in this scene give Patrick to escape the boundaries of his working class title and force Harris to hear the story of Alice. This is important as it empowers him to assume the role of Hana’s father. Speaking the words “I am her father” to Clara on the phone. The last thing Patrick says “lights” is significant as it symbolizes Patrick taking control of the
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