Ransom by David Malouf Study Guide

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Ransom

Begins: The sea has many voices. ….man is first in pre-existence, rocked and comforted, and then is born into an earthly world. “Man is a fighter and when not fighting he is a farmer, earth is his element” One day he will return to grains. But first his life is full of shifting forms.

Achilles: “He was 5, 6 when her (mother? or spirit???) voice whispered on his skin, Do you hear me? I am still with you for a time when you call” and then she was a “faint far-off echo to his senses, an underwater humming”. He grieved, but in silence so as not to let others know. “Somewhere in the depths of his sleep his spirit made a crossing and not come back or had been snatched up and transformed.” “He had entered the rough world of men, where a man’s acts follow him wherever he goes in the form of story.” “

Describes the gulf…deep, waves kick up and gather, then collapse, replaced by new ones….”It is time, not space, he is staring into.”

9 years they had been cooped up on the beach, Greeks of every clan, keeping their weapons in good trim and self taut. “Such a life is death to a warrior spirit”. In these 9 years his son, Neoptolemus has been with the grandfather growing up without him (Achilles, father)

Gazes out over the sea, thousands of ships; This is not where it will end but rather on the beach. This old man is not alone however, he has his “ghosts”’ Patroclus, his soulmate and companion since childhood. And Hector, the implacable enemy. (Patroclus was described as a boy with big hands and feet)

(Looking back gives history)…Patroclus had simply appeared in the court of his father one day. He was 3 years older than Achilles. Achilles had killed a hare and was wonting to show it to his father when Patroclus appeared. Peleus (Achilles’ father I think) was angry at Achilles intrusion while he was listening to his guest, Menoetius, King of Opus. (father of Patroclus)

The story Menoetius was telling was that he was bring...
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