Different meanings reverberate beyond the single storyline through a series of independent yet interrelated stories. The focus lies on the marginalised members of society rather than the empowered elite, and the collaboration of their stories is brought together in a very unstructured way, the resulting discursive nature of the novel confronts readers, challenges preconceptions of narrative form and adds to the novel¡¯s textual integrity as an accurate reflection on human nature and life, to further ensure their relevance resonates through all generations.
Through the traumatic concern of isolation and companionship, Ondaatje presents a journey of discovery and illustrates the importance of relationships as their influence resonates through human lives. Patrick¡¯s desire to find closeness is juxtaposed with his inability to cope with the intensity of intimacy, from his ¡°abashed father¡±, he ¡°learns to deny community¡±. Hence he ¡°slides through company alcove¡± and is ¡°nothing but a prism that reflected their lives¡±.
However, accidental meetings can lead to transformational experiences evident within the ¡°women¡± in his life, Fiona, Alice and Clara as they instill in him to change and assume a role ¡°I am Patrick Lewis¡±, ¡°I am her father¡±, to rise above the ambiguity he feels for much of the novel. Hence ultimately, Patrick contributes to the novels integrity as he is a ¡°searcher who collects the various corners of the story¡±, and an axle around which the novel turns.