How Does Malouf 's Characterization And Use Of Language And Imagery

1529 Words Sep 10th, 2015 7 Pages
How does Malouf’s characterisation and use of language and imagery in Ransom reaffirm the reader’s belief in the human spirit?
David Malouf’s reinterpretation of Homer’s Greek classic, The Iliad, specifically Book 24 focuses not on the war and battles of Troy, but on Priam’s journey with Somax and the transformation of human nature that follows. Whilst journeying to collect Hector’s body and give ransom, Somax introduces Priam to the life of the common people. He learns what it means to be human and what it means to be a father. Imagery plays a very important role in the way Malouf tells this journey. The act of ransom, the traditional meanings of ransom and the view that the ransom is a ‘fee paid in advance for life’ (184)1 allow Priam to immerse himself in a journey of meaning. Priam’s mission to ransom his son relies on him understanding death and its consequences. Priam realises that the ability to show grace, forgiveness and compassion, erase hatred. Malouf positons me to understand that this is the most important role of Priam’s mission, and is ultimately why it is successful. This transformation relies heavily on the influence of Somax, ‘the ordinary carter’ (47) who helps Priam ‘cut the knot’ (56) of anger and hate, transforming Priam from King to man. Somax helps Priam create a different legend; one trusting in chance, not dictated by the Gods. Through understanding the messages Malouf portrays through the use of imagery in Ransom, I have been positioned to…

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