Love as the Most Powerful Force in The Skin of a Lion, and The English Patient

Topics: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient, 1992 in literature Pages: 3 (1156 words) Published: February 20, 2014
David McDowell
ENG4U
20 January 2014
Love: The Most Powerful Force
Are there a lot of people in this world that would take life-risking actions for the person they love the most? A survey taken in May of 2013 showed that 55% of voters would die for their loved one (TellWut). In The English Patient and In The Skin of a Lion both written by Michael Ondaatje, characters are motivated by love to take extreme actions that end in lifelong happiness for some, but not so for others. Is there really love at first sight? For Patrick and The English Patient (Almasy) there is as they fall in love immediately with their lover. When Patrick meets Clara, a sensual woman, he is immediately attracted to her and falls in love with her. Patrick becomes very attached with Clara since he never had this experience before and the narrator tells us “this daughter of the foreman at Wheeler Needle Works, who seemed to have entered him like a spirit, bullying his private nature” (Skin 72). This shows how much of an impact Clara has had on Patrick and how he becomes overly attracted to Clara after seeing her once. This is not the only example of how Patrick falls in love really quickly. When Clara leaves Patrick he becomes heartbroken and three years later Alice shows up at Patrick’s door. Alice is an enigma for Patrick as he is drawn to her strength and her convictions. “I don’t think I’m big enough to put someone in a position where they will hurt another” (Skin 160) are the words spoken by Alice that makes Patrick fall in love with her. Almasy also known as The English Patient falls in love really quickly as well. The night that the expedition team is sitting around the campfire, Katherine tells the story of Gyges, a story that ultimately reflects their own love affair. After hearing the story, Almasy claims, “that night I fell in love with a voice” (Patient 144). Just like the impact Clara had on Patrick, Katherine is making the same impact on Almasy. Almasy is not the only...


Bibliography: Ondaatje, Michael. The English patient: a novel. New York: McClelland & Stewart, 1992. Print.
Ondaatje, Michael. In the Skin of a Lion: a novel. New York: McClelland & Stewart, 1987. Print.
"Results." What would you choose? Web. 20 Jan. 2014. http://www.tellwut.com/surveys/contests/best-survey-may-2013/37252-if-you-had-to-choose-between-your-life-and-your-spouse-s-or-sibling-s-life-one-of-you-has-to-die-what-would-you-choose-.html
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