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Word Count: 786
Michael Ondaatjes novel In the Skin of the Lion revolves around the life of many characters and are constructed in short stories found throughout the novel Throughout the course of the novel we encounter many different characters These characters all portray a type of element that brings forth the main idea of the book These elements include fire water and air All of these elements that are represented by characters show us that it guides their lives Through guiding their lives we see it through their personality ambitions and relationships with other characters Elements are the basic components of life The three elements water air and fire are employed throughout the novel through the characters of Patrick Lewis Rowland Harris and Nicholas Temelcoff Patrick Lewis represents the element of fire Fire has the meaning of passion anger liveliness adventurous love rashness trouble heat warmth and enlightenment First of all he is a son of a dynamiter and being one allows him to show adventurous and liveliness A dynamiter involves the usage of fire in order to activate the dynamite to work so fire is in play Even as a child he is fascinated with the element of fire and we can see it through a scene in the beginning of the novel 21-22 Here he sees men skating with cattails on fires It is associated with laughter magic romance and speed which is enticing him into the world of fire His relationship with Clara and Alice displays passion love and compulsion which are signs of fire He tries to seduce her in page 62 He is described to feel a sense of liveliness due to the fact that he is experiencing love 70 When he breaks up with Clara it is as if he is slowly defused and burning away He is out of life until Alice pulls him back together Another factor of fire is the formation of destruction Alices death had
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