Analysis Of Michael Ondaatje's In The Skin Of A Lion

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Many stories are told through the perspective of one omnipresent narrator, the perspective one character, or even an unreliable narrator. These styles emphasize the views and opinion of one character, one side of the story being told. In Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion, Ondaatje uses an unconventional style of narration to tell the untold stories of the working class and immigrants who built the country, to give immigrants a voice they do not have in the past, and to recreate how certain memories have a major impact while some do not. Through this style, Ondaatje emphasizes the main topic of the novel, the perspective of immigrants and working class in the nineteen- thirties. Throughout the novel, characters of low social status …show more content…
Rather than setting him as a minor character that is destined to be a part of the background, Ondaatje describes his journey, his struggle as he enters Canada as an immigrant. “Nicholas was twenty five years old when war in the Balkans began … They let him through. He was in Upper America.” (pg 45) Ondaatje describes Temelcoff’s past to give the reader an immigrant’s perspective of their struggles, something that is not possible during the novel’s time period. Most of the Macedonian immigrants cannot speak English, and unable to announce their thoughts, feelings, and stories. Ondaatje dedicates a chapter to Temelcoff, as a way to give the immigrants a voice, and to show that their voices are not being heard. Finally, in In the Skin of a Lion, Ondaatje writes in a style that highlights a character’s personal memories. Certain characters have specific events mentioned and detailed, while some are left out in another perspective. Using fragmented memories from each character, as well as thoughts that are important to one character and irrelevant to another, Ondaatje recreates how memories function in reality in the novel. Characters remember the impactful events, and the disastrous

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