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struggle between the power of


            The novel In the Skin of a Lion tells the story about the life of an Ontario man who is trying to find his role in the world and his experiences with the hierarchy of the early 1900's society. The man is part of a community of marginalized people in the city of Toronto who live and work in the background out of the public eye. They do not appear in a history books, yet they still contribute to the cities history, just not the official version. Both figuratively and literally throughout the novel there is a struggle between the power of the wealthy that constructs history and the power of the marginalized to explode it. .
             The figurative struggle of the marginalized trying to explode the wealth's power is largely stemmed from its uneven distribution. This novel is largely based around the lives of the marginalized characters. These characters are not included in mainstream society and most are immigrants with little or no wealth and power. Though they are just as much a part of the history of Toronto as the fat cats who provide the money to build the historical monuments such as the waterworks. The main character Patrick is used as a symbol of these marginalized people who are trying to explode history. The character Commissioner Harris is used as a symbol of the wealth and power. He is the man who had the vision for the waterworks and is the type of man that history remembers. The waterworks is not only a piece of the cities history, but it too is a symbol of power. Water is the most vital element in the survival of humans in society. Harris speaks of the great importance of the waterworks as he looks back at history: "The Goths could have captured Rome by destroying the aqueducts which led into the city. Cutting off the water supply or poisoning it would bring the city to its knees."(Ondaatje 220) This is the reason why the marginalized want to explode it. They want to destroy the wealth's symbol of power.


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