Ransom

by

David Malouf

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Ransom

Ransom payment is without question the most important symbol in Malouf’s novel, but its meaning is complex and multilayered. In fact, the treasure that Priam provides to Achilles in exchange for his son Hector’s body…

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Beauty

Beauty, one of a pair of mules that pull Somax’s cart, is a symbol of the pleasures of the incidental and ordinary. Unlike Achilles’s immortal horses Balius and Xanthus, or even the thoroughbreds who pull…

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Earth and Water

The supernatural is not nearly so strong a force in Ransom as it is in the Iliad, where gods are continuously intervening in human affairs, often in extreme or fantastical ways. With that said…

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The Griddlecake

In addition to being another source of humble, everyday enjoyment, the griddlecake that Somax gives to Priam is a symbol of the nature and power of storytelling. As King of Troy, Priam is used to…

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