In the Skin of a Lion

Clara Dickens’s friend and Patrick Lewis’s romantic partner was initially a nun, whom Nicholas Temelcoff saved from falling off the bridge. However, she never talks about this period of her life, focusing instead on her acting career, her relationship with Cato, and her political beliefs. Outraged by the exploitation of the working and the indifference of the rich, she believes passionately in the necessity of a working-class revolution. At the same time, though, she does not truly support violence, as she believes that she could never tell someone to harm another human being. These characteristics reveal her to be a deeply thoughtful and empathetic human being, capable of influencing the people around her. She has high regard for friendship and considers that love is capable of radically shaping someone’s identity. Spontaneous and open-minded, she lives in the present moment, making the most of the community around her.

Alice Gull Quotes in In the Skin of a Lion

The In the Skin of a Lion quotes below are all either spoken by Alice Gull or refer to Alice Gull. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of In the Skin of a Lion published in 1987.
Part 1: Chapter 2: The Bridge Quotes

So when customers step in at any time, what they are entering is an old courtyard of the Balkans. A violin. Olive trees. Permanent evening. Now the arbor-like wallpaper makes sense to her. Now the parrot has a language.

Related Characters: Alice Gull, Nicholas Temelcoff, Kosta
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:
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Part 2: Chapter 1: Palace of Purification Quotes

He thought, l am moving like a puppet. He touched an arm in the darkness not fully realizing it was human. A hand came from somewhere and held his wrist. “Hello, Patrick.” He turned on the flashlight. She was waiting for the light, like a good actress, ready to be revealed.

Related Characters: Patrick Lewis, Alice Gull
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:
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- Compassion forgives too much. You could forgive the worst man. You forgive him and nothing changes.

- You can teach him, make him aware . . .

- Why leave the power in his hands?

Related Characters: Patrick Lewis (speaker), Alice Gull (speaker)
Related Symbols: Dynamite
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
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Come on, Patrick, of course some make it. They do it by becoming just like the ones they want to overtake. Like Ambrose. Look at what he became before he disappeared. He was predatory. He let nothing cling to him, not even Clara.

Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:
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I don’t think I’m big enough to put someone in a position where they have to hurt another.

Related Characters: Patrick Lewis, Alice Gull
Related Symbols: Dynamite
Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
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“The trouble with ideology, Alice, is that it hates the private. You must make it human.”

Related Characters: Patrick Lewis, Alice Gull
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
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In books he had read, even those romances he swallowed during childhood, Patrick never believed that characters lived only on the page. They altered when the author’s eye was somewhere else. (…) Each character had his own time zone, his own lamp, otherwise they were just men from nowhere.

Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
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His own life was no longer a single story but part of a mural, which was a falling together of accomplices.

Page Number: 145
Explanation and Analysis:
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Alice Gull Character Timeline in In the Skin of a Lion

The timeline below shows where the character Alice Gull appears in In the Skin of a Lion. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 2: The Bridge
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Although everyone is convinced the nun is gone forever, one of the men working in a lower arch, attached by a... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
...and decides that they will need to swing to a higher level. Therefore, he takes the nun in his arms and tries to swing toward the bridge’s structure, feeling responsible for this... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
On a higher level, the workers and the nun s are still agitated, as they are convinced that the nun who flew off the... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Finally, Nicholas shows the nun the direction to the Ohrida Lake Restaurant, where his friend Kosta opens the door and... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
...a parrot called Alicia to search for brandy. When he returns, he offers some to the nun , adding that she does not have to drink it if she doesn’t want to.... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Noticing a scar on the nun ’s nose, Temelcoff asks her about it and encourages her to speak, despite her apparent... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...words of English—which he learned by listening to songs on the radio—with his native language, the nun looks alive and interested, looking around the room and tapping her fingers to the music.... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Left alone in the darkness, the nun feels as though she is the only person alive in the building. She walks to... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
When the nun leaves Ohrida Lake Restaurant at dawn, she abandons her former identity. Although, a few years... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
...managed to put his shoulder back into its socket, he looks at the veil that the nun has left. As Nicholas chats with Kosta about the girl and discovers that she told... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
...accident, Nicholas feels that the city’s streets look new to him and he searches for the nun everywhere in the city. Nicholas’s “courtship” with the girl remains a silent one. When he... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...once his shoulder is healed, Nicholas returns to the bridge. He ignores people’s stories about the nun who vanished and, instead, focuses on his work. He knows the landscape of the valley... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 3: The Searcher
Love and Family Theme Icon
...calls him some time later, telling him that she is taking him  to her friend Alice’s house in the countryside. Patrick and Clara reach the farmhouse, where Alice would arrive in... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
When Alice finally arrives, Patrick watches Clara as the two women walk together. Clara recounts a childhood... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
While Patrick and Clara share episodes from their childhood, Alice prefers to talk about the present, revealing little about herself. Over the course of the... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
At night, in the dark, Clara and Alice approach the bed where Patrick is sleeping. They place candles on a chair and, placing... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
...sleeping women, whom he discovered at dawn throwing rhubarb at each other across the kitchen, Alice laughing wholeheartedly and Clara a little shy at seeing him enter the room. He touches... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Alice accompanies Patrick to the kitchen, where he eats a grapefruit and Alice watches him move... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
...gift and feels that he can learn from it. In general, Patrick admires Clara and Alice’s close friendship and, when Clara asks him about Alice, he says he liked her. Clara... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
One day, Patrick opens the door and is shocked to see Alice standing in the doorway. As she enters the apartment, she sees that Patrick is trying... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Alice asks Patrick for some coffee and he notes that she looks strong and confident. She... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Patrick ran into Alice the day before, as she was exiting a theater. He told her he was currently... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
In Patrick’s apartment, after Alice and Patrick make love, Alice mentions that Clara’s mother probably knows where she is. She... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 1: Palace of Purification
Love and Family Theme Icon
...he feels that he is interacting with something even more intimate than the person of Alice Gull, since he has to remove a minuscule spot of paint around her eye. (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Later, in Alice’s room, where Patrick has just seen Alice’s sleeping daughter, Alice explains that she wasn’t married... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
Patrick and Alice then begin to talk about politics and injustice, and while Patrick argues that compassion—what Alice’s... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
As Patrick listens to Alice’s angry tirade, he wonders if this might be an acting role, an imitation of her... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Alice then explains that someone always walks on stage to stop her, as Patrick did tonight,... (full context)
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Love and Family Theme Icon
The two of them walk out onto the fire escape, holding Alice’s daughter Hana in the fresh air, and passersby wave at them from below, which makes... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
After Patrick lies down, Alice tells him to sit up again to see something beautiful, and Patrick sees rectangles of... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
At five in the morning, Patrick leaves Alice and Hana sleeping on the fire escape to leave for work, stopping by his room... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
...the first time while drunk. As he also recalls his old conversation with Clara about Alice, he feels as though all these women might be a succession of painted faces. (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Over time, as Patrick begins to feel happy and fulfilled in his relationship with Alice, he finds a job at the tannery after the waterworks tunnel is completed. Since jobs... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
...to themselves like a number. Mentioning the smell that will forever mark the dyers’ skin, Alice criticizes the attitude of the rich, who always laugh, never work, and keep the poor... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
In Kosta’s house, Alice is relaxed with her friends, with whom she speaks, English, Finnish, or Macedonian. Patrick does... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
One day, Alice reads Patrick some of Joseph Conrad’s letters. The writer defends the right of the oppressed... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Later, Patrick joins Alice and Hana and they eat on the fire escape or at the Balkan Café where... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...picture of people on the bridge, Patrick asks Hana about it and Hana says that Alice must have known them. (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
One day, Alice shares with Patrick parts of her love story with Cato. She explains that Cato was... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
...these stories make him feel jealous, he concludes that they do not. He then asks Alice about the men on the bridge but Alice, who is not inclined to give much... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
...various stories around him, he realizes that he is now part of a web of stories—Alice’s love story with Cato, Hana’s friendship with the baker—and wonders if Alice was a nun. (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
The next day, at work, Patrick reflects on what he knows about Alice’s past. After work, he goes home and plays a game with Alice and Hana on... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
Patrick realizes that he is obsessively looking through Alice’s past because he wants to keep her from being dead, and he hopes to achieve... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Patrick remembers lying on Alice’s stomach and listening to stories about her relationship with Cato. She explains that he was... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Patrick remembers one Sunday when Alice and he were walking back from the regular gathering at the waterworks. Patrick offered to... (full context)
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
...and logical consequences, but that he simply wants to be alone in a field with Alice, when they used to walk around the city and the countryside together. (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2: Remorse
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
In Alice’s room, Patrick recalls his old desire to know Alice when she was old. Lying in... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
...reminds him of the intense greenness of moths. They sit down together, and Patrick remembers Alice’s grand cause as well as her death in his arms. When the woman falls asleep... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 2: Maritime Theatre
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...Patrick finds Hana sitting on the bed and notices that she looks a lot like Alice. This makes him suffer, and Hana sees his deep love for Alice in his eyes.... (full context)
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
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...that freedom meant being on his own in silence and keeping himself from thinking about Alice, but his refusal to communicate changed on the night that Caravaggio was attacked. (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
...comment about the rich’s laugh and their obsession with their possessions that reminded Patrick of Alice. (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...In the meantime, Patrick prepares himself to walk through the puppet-filled hallway where he saw Alice years ago. He knows that he has broken something because his face is in deep... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Patrick interrupts Harris’s speech to tell him about Alice Gull’s death. When Harris mentions that she was killed by an anarchist, Patrick explains that... (full context)