The Sound Of One Hand Clapping Deals With Both The Destructive Power Of Evil And The Redeeming Power Of Love

1159 words - 5 pages

The Sound Of One Hand Clapping

Richard Flannagan’s The Sound Of One Hand Clapping deals with both the destructive power of evil and the redeeming power of love. Through the memories of the characters Sonja, Bojan and Maria Buloh. The responder is taken on a chronologically disjointed journey to fix a broken family and unlock a hidden past. One of the central themes in the novel is changing perspective and how the Intertwining of individual life journeys can shape and influence another’s perspective on life. Flannagan illustrates this through the actions, thoughts and emotions of his characters. His use of extended metaphors, intense imagery and personification are used extensively ...view middle of the document...

This ties in with Flannagan’s symbolism of the dam in the story which represent this damming of emotions. Unable to cope with the reality of his wife’s death he sees the world as a place of hopelessness “Life had revealed itself to Bojan Buloh as the triumph of evil”. This quote demonstrates how devastating events can put someone in a permanent negative mind frame influencing every aspect of their life. This influencing can be seen where Bojan finds love with Jean yet asks his daughters permission to marry her as if looking for a way to end the relationship. As well as the fear of losing another love he also fears the unfamiliar situation of being in a healthy relationship. “Maybe Bojan wanted to marry Jean, but did not have the strength alone to see it through.” This impacted on Bojan’s bitterness towards humanity causes him to drink even more heavily. Resulting in many years of domestic abuse for Sonja.

Even though the “destructive power of evil” has had an overwhelming effect on Bojan the ”redeeming power of love” was still present and could be seen in his carpentry. As a poet reflects his emotions into his words Bojan reflect his emotions in to his makings. Both Jean and Maria were lavished with beautiful furnishings. This was Bojan’s way of expressing his love for them. Another symbol for love is edelweiss. This is significant of Maria’s and Bojan’s love. Each petal, symbolic of a certain time. An indicator of what direction to go next. Now a connection to the death of Maria and their broken love “Bojan Buloh knew them to be, the terrible flotsam of the broken flower of their love, the remnants of the petals or an edelweiss”

Sonja, feels the true destruction of evil when burdened with the ghosts of her parents past and misdeeds . With her mother dead and her father unable to raise her. Sonja is taken in to other homes where she was sexually abused and heard harsh words about her mother causing her to question her mothers love “Your mother did not love you or she would be here now” . Eventually Sonja lives with her father, for a few years all is fine until Bojan turned to alcohol to numb his pain. This leads to many years of abuse. Sonja...

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