Exploring Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion and The English PatientHuman mobility has always been the center of Michael Ondaatje’s novels, which would tend to expand throughout the thread of effective narratives. Michael Ondaatje understood such idea, demonstrated their human actions and consequences, and discussed how people kept on migrating and crossing borders in order to live their lives. Ondaatje’s accounts entitled In the Skin of a Lion (1987) and The English Patient (1992) confirmed his interests in exploring some sense of nomadism, isolation, and reconnection. In the story titled In the Skin of a Lion, he dismantled boundaries between native and foreign workers and attempted to repel the necessary associations between people and place (Spearey 48). Moving beyond the novels, Ondaatje learned to use his writing skills to produce a powerful storytelling that would depict the relevance of nomadic metaphysics and the importance of human mobility or migrations.The thematic revelation of the novels In the Skin of a Lion (1987) and The English Patient (1992) made a significant validation of human endeavor. People like Alice, Ambrose, Hana, the Englishman, and Kip became realistic as they dwelled on the mechanics of adventure, struggle, and survival. However, Ondaatje could not disregard the presence of causality of actions and consequences as he managed to transcend how the characters somehow failed to acknowledge their differences and how some of them caused human suffering towards others due to their actions (Hilger 39). The structure of the novels weaved firmly to create links between them since one became a sequel to the other. To clarify, The English Patient is a sequel of In the Skin of a Lion that dealt with human events, emotional entanglements, and destructions due to the political and social turmoil (Spearey 50). The experiences of the characters did offer critics and student readers, perhaps, a moment of realization how they survived their strife and tribulation. In the Skin of a Lion, Patrick Lewis needed to move around his secluded community in order to live his life after the death of his father. He needed to go back to the city in order to feed himself, fell in love with a woman, and died possibly after such woman would leave him. In The Englishman Patient, some of the characters such as Cato and Alice, the Englishman and Hana, Kip, and many others lived throughout the complex entanglement of their problems. Indeed, the theme of the novels In the Skin of a Lion (1987) and The English Patient (1992) worked with the structures and the plot narratives to bring a substantial justification of human endeavors and challenges. It has been difficult to question how and why Ondaatje planned to set his characters in motion around the interconnected events in the novels. It seemed that he wanted to offer effective and realistic characterizations that he based his narrative accounts based on experiences. Although these two novels marked significantly important to emphasize human conflicts and struggles, Ondaatje exposed harsh human predicaments as an effect of his personal experiences around his political and social environments.Essentially, the use of effective narrative devices and motifs to explore the emotional thoughts of the characters. The use of chapters in both novels told critics and student readers the narrative flow in order to permit his readers the events and experiences of the characters from their encounters and their ways of knowing one another. After this narrative flow, the characters would find themselves in the interweaving situations. Alice’s and the Englishman’s past, for instance, moved their friends and family members; however, they preferred to keep their secrets and pasts wanting to live the present. In In the Skin of a Lion, Ondaatje depicted Patrick Lewis and the rest of the characters who needed to strive to live despite the odds of their lives (Spearey 49). Part of this human condition is death, which made Alice disremember her life with her boyfriend Cato and his departure from the world. Hana, Cato’s and Alice’s daughter, found isolated herself from the society and moved to places in order to find her life. Creatively, Ondaatje succeeded in transcending the characters through a very moving and active plot schemes. In The English Patient, Ondaatje wanted to present the growing hopelessness in people and their decisions to die to escape from the problems (Ty 28). The Englishman surrendered his life as he would take risks to confront his thoughts and the people around him. In the end, Ondaatje learned to handle these personal quandaries as he found the balance between running away and dwelling on these problems and their past involvements against human travails.As a personal response, I believe I found the love of all the characters in both novels. The experiences of the characters such as Patrick, the Englishman, Alice, Hana, and many others in both novels awakened my senses since all their actions similarly happened in the present era. The scene of war and the depiction of love did, however, revolve around them, and these human emotions existed far slighter than the acts of war and human suffering. I became enchanted by Patrick and the Englishman who ruined their lives after their girlfriends left them. I could not imagine how both of them destroyed themselves and failed to endure the usual life. Similarly, I could also think of Alice and the Englishman who wrecked their friends’ lives by not telling them any relevant information about the past. Their history, which did not reconcile to the present, allowed them to create horrors in their contemporary lives. I loved to know how the characters In the Skin of a Lion like Patrick Lewis survived his isolated condition and how the Englishman and Hana in The English Patient lived their lives. What I liked the novels was the idea that some experiences made me feel hooked with the plot narratives and themes. In words, I felt astonished by how Ondaatje maneuvered his skills to create a powerful storytelling. Hence, Ondaatje’s novels marked a significant thought of adventure and mobility, nationhood and identity, survival, and ruins from the rest of human struggles.In the end, Ondaatje validated the risks of not reconciling events and experiences. Both his novels reflected the destructive effect of completely ignoring past lives as these experiences would still haunt and affect their ordinary existence. In the two novels In the Skin of a Lion and The English Patient, Ondaatje established his characters such as Patrick, Alice, Ambrose, and the Englishman and introduced them to highlight certain human realities how people lived their lives by the social and cultural dictates. For instance, Alice’s and the Englishman’s past touched their friends and family members, and they needed to share these human connections with others in order to deal these links with themselves. In In the Skin of a Lion, Ondaatje managed to depict how Alice disremembered her life with her boyfriend Cato and dealt with his agonizing demise. Cato’s and Alice’s daughter named Hana settled a tendency to isolate herself from the society, a characteristic she acquired from her mother (Ondaatje 145). In The English Patient, Ondaatje showed how people grew hopelessness leading to the Englishman’s verdict to require to Hana to murder him so that he could escape from all his previous problems. As he was incompetent enough to cope with the anxiety and the trauma of his life, he encountered other people who would take risks to confront with one another. Moreover, both novels made Ondaatje confirm how people decided to run away and found the sense of balance between the disappearance of the past and the actions of staying on it too much. Like an old maxim, both novels taught readers and even critics how people behaved and lived their lives according to the influences of their past involvements against human struggles. 

Post Author: admin


I'm Irvin!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out