In the Skin of a Lion

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Topics: Toronto
In the novel ‘In the skin of a Lion’ by Michael Ondaatje, Ondaatje creates a journey of identity, he explores the lack of identity of the migrants and workers, also the journey of Patrick Lewis’ transformation. In the chapter “the Searcher” Patrick has left his farm and moved to the city of Toronto, He becomes a searcher on many levels; he is to find his place and identity and as he does, Patrick also finds love and the story of the workers. This passage is the record of his arrival; he is beginning with a fresh identity. “He was new even to himself, the past locked away” this simple statement shows Patricks displacement, he has a past but it no longer matters as he tries to define himself in this new place all he has is his memories “What remained in Patrick...were letters frozen inside mailboxes…”
“He spoke his name and it struggled up in a hollow echo and was lost in high air” the essence of a man is his name, unless you have a name you are anonymous, the fact that Patrick has spoken his name but no one replies or acknowledges him represents the loss of his name, Patrick has now become one in thousands, he does not have a place and he must recreate his identity in the city. Eventually he finds his voice through Clara and Alice who both have showed him love. After the death of Alice he steps forward and uses his voice to break the barrier for the workers and tell their story, as they are nameless to the higher-class world, they are anonymous. The title “The Searcher” is rich in its references, this is the beginning of Patricks story as he pursues his search for who he is, with the love and satisfaction of his found identity he then helps other people by finding their story and revealing it to others. Throughout the novel Patrick learns about certain key people, he learns of Ambrose Small, Nicolas Temelcoff, Caravaggio and also the story of Cato, through these men he is opened to their struggles and later uses them to tell Harris about the struggles of not

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