In The Skin Of A Lion Essay

1739 words - 7 pages

Patrick Lewis, the protagonist in the story, In The Skin Of A Lion, goes through an internal change in his beliefs and in his personality; these changes can be noticed throughout the novel. Patrick goes through relationships throughout his life that end up manipulating his view of other’s actions. These key personality changes can be found in the relationships that Patrick had with Clara Dickens, as well as his relationship with Alice Gull. Michael Ondaatje, the author, clearly shows the mental change that Mr. Lewis endured, by showing his compassion and caring with Ms. Dickens; then his attitude changed once Alice influenced him. Nearing the end of the story the change becomes obvious, with ...view middle of the document...

“…But sometime after that I’ll leave you.
-For Ambrose.
-Yes, for Ambrose. And you must never follow me.
-It takes me a long time to forgive…” (72).
The ending of the relationship between Clara and Patrick immediately took his generous compassion away and turned it to pain.
Soon after this, Patrick moved into an industrial part of Toronto. This part of Toronto happened to be one with a large population of Macedonian immigrants. Through an iguana that Patrick purchased, he managed to connect with the community and he was invited to watch a secret show put on in the unfinished waterworks, a show put on at night. During one of the performances, Patrick went upon himself, showing a hypothetical flair of sympathy, an unquestioned caring for one of the actresses. “Patrick stood up and stumbled over feet until he reached the aisle. … Each footstep as he moved released [a] terrible noise. … He climbed up, slipping at first … [then] he stepped over a lamp. Then he was up there on stage, and as soon as he approached the exhausted figure he saw up close that the performer was much smaller, that it was a woman” (118). This was the second time Patrick was able to fall in love, although he has no idea at the time. This character, that Patrick met on stage that night, would later on seduce him. After the show ended, Patrick went looking for the actress, going behind the stage, “He walked into pitch darkness. When he turned on the flashlight he saw swaying feet. … He touched an arm in the darkness not fully realizing it was human. A hand came from somewhere and held his wrist. ‘Hello Patrick’.” (120). Neither the actress, Alice Gull, or Patrick knows that they will have a deep relationship, but even later that night while they talk, Alice tries to sway Patrick’s current view, she assumes he is extremely compassionate as he went beyond himself too get onto the stage and stop her from hitting her hand. Alice said to Patrick, “There is more compassion in my desire for truth than in your ‘Image’ of compassion.” Alice even goes to convince Patrick he is too compassionate; she tells him, “Compassion forgives too much. You could forgive the worst man. You forgive him and nothing changes.” (123). Patrick suffered from pain from Clara, but it was the relationship between himself and Alice, that changed his personality even more.
As time progressed the relationship between Alice and Patrick became very strong. Patrick lived with Alice and her daughter Hana; they had become a family, Alice doing shows and working, as well as Patrick working; both doing their part to support each other and Hana. During a very unfortunate event, Alice mistakenly took the wrong brief case rather then the one she would use for an act. The brief case that Alice accidentally had a bomb inside of it, the bomb that would end up killing her. The brief case was meant for a wealthy CEO, one that would be in the same class as the owners of the tannery, where Patrick and many of his friends...

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