David Malouf in Ransom has taken a Greek myth (The Iliad, by Homer) and appropriated it to today’s problems, which have transcended time. The purpose of the first chapter is simple but crucial to understanding the character of Achilles. From the first chapter Achilles dual personality is evident. Also via Achilles in the first chapter Malouf emphasises the notion of fate and destiny. In the opening pages of the first chapter the narrator reveals Achilles dual personality. From the beginning there is a constant conflict between his dual personalities. On one side his immortal mother Thetis (Goddess of the sea) and in contrast his mortal father. Although Achilles is mortal he longs to live an immortal life and join his mother for eternity. However brought up under his fathers influence he, grows the Persona of a battle-hardened warrior. Growing up in a pastoral life he learns the ability to fight and homes in his senses to kill. “The man is a fighter, but when he is not fighting he is a farmer, earth is his element. One day, he knows, he will go back to it. All the grains that were miraculously called together at his birth to make just theses hands, theses feet, this corded forearm, will separate and go their own ways again. He is a child of the earth. But for the whole of his life he has been drawn, in his other nature, to his mothers element" Pg4 Against his will “Somewhere in the depths of sleep his (Achilles) spirit had made a crossing and not come back, or it had been snatched and transformed” Pg6. This quote refers to the crossing from the womb of his mum in the sea to the land with his father. Although he has this stand out dual personality he is always incognito and stoical about his feelings. “He had always grieved. But silently, never permitting himself to betray others what he felt” Pg5. Throughout just the first chapter Achilles anonymity is revealed allowing the rest for the book to be understood. Even though Achilles is a...
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