Thursday, December 5, 2013

In the Skin of a Lion

          Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion, is a novel whose main landscape is Toronto in the 1920s and 1930s. This novel explores the culture of the many hard working tunnellers, bridge builders and immigrants who worked day and night, in dangerous conditions to build the marvelous city. "All people are born in isolation and gradually become integrated into a greater society comprised of dominant and marginalised groups. How well integrated you become is a determining factor of your status in that society"(Nebo Literature). Ondaatje emphasizes immigration and the continual struggle for an acceptable division of power. The novel allows the voice of previously "marginalized perspectives" to be heard(Gamlin, 2012). I have learned throughout this novel that these hard working immigrants have not been treated fairly and had not received the appropriate thanks for their hard labour. I have also noted, that the male gender were the rich, and the hard working labourers, while the women were nuns or seemingly fragile and unable to sustain life on their own without a man to provide. This culture had an affect on the main character, Patrick Lewis, it made him want to scowl those who had been in power, and had not rightfully recognized the efforts of the immigrants. Patrick Lewis was a lost soul and a searcher on a constant journey throughout this novel. Michael Ondaatje created a voice for those unheard and unappreciated, through Patrick Lewis.