In the Skin of a Lion

Postmodern Study of In the Skin of a Lion

The central idea of Michael Ondaatje’s In the Skin of a Lion is the presentation of the marginalised voice, which is in keeping with his motivation to craft texts of post-colonial fiction. He offers an alternative version of events to reveal the lived truth by a particular group of people. In this case, it is the Canadian migrant struggling for political, cultural and social sovereignty in the effort for solidarity and a faithfully recorded presence in history. However, this text can also be read as postmodern as it explores differing perspectives through the triumphs and tribulations of the main characters, who present different versions of reality, yet are connected through time and place. Through this meta-fictional work, Ondaatje is saying that reality, history and memory are inescapably subjective. This is the essential quality of the text.

Ondaatje reveals the untold stories of the marginalized through the protagonist Patrick Lewis and the intersections of his life with other characters. To this purpose, a disjointed narrative technique free from strict chronological sequence is employed. Through poetic prose, we are made to feel Patrick's silenced voice, “easily harnessed” character and isolation from “a warmth which...

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