In The Skin Of A Lion

by aaronbui103

In the Skin of a Lion, a novel by Michael Ondaatje was filled with love, passion, and imagery. The main character Patrick Lewis, who is the son of a dynamite expert lived in a small town of Depot Creek, Ontario. However, when Patrick leaves Ontario for Toronto, a series of tales followed him.

“Little Seeds” was the title of the first chapter of this novel. We could see that it represents the little pieces of background information that was presented in the novel. Within these small stories, we can learn about Patrick. The chapter titled “The Bridge” introduced new characters and a new setting. The character Nicholas Temelcoff was introduced. Nicholas is a worker at the bridge that happened to save a nun who turned out to be Alice later in the novel. He was a very kind person. The significance of these two sections is that it introduces and allows us to understand some of the characters before creating conflicts into the story. From these understandings, we are able to see where each character is coming from, and speculate their thoughts and feelings.

Later in the story,  he met and fell in love to a girl name Clara. However, she tells Patrick that she is leaving to go live with Ambrose, the man who he was hired to look for. Patrick was greatly devastated and heartbroken. As a result of this, Alice, who he fell in love with next had major impacts on him. If he had not fallen so deeply in love, Alice’s death would not have such a dramatic affect on him, causing him to burn down the hotel in Muskoka. In addition, he helped Caragavio break out of prison. We can see that Patrick is going through major changes at this stage. Throughout the events in his life he has lost his sense of innocence compared to the beginning of the story. Patrick has changed from a young innocent boy who admires all things into an adult that has been torn up, lonely inside and lost sense of self.

We can see that as we continue into the story, the life of a seemingly not so important character in the story becomes relevant. Yet also intriguing to find out that these characters we thought we knew so little about, we actually ended up knowing a whole background story on them.

Word Count: 394


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