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 as tools to express the characters inner worlds by reflecting back in to the natural world. “She turned in to the wind it’s self, became the gale that was to curse them all.”
The destructive power of evil can be seen through the actions of Maria Buloh. A survivor of war , a victim of rape and a witness to her own fathers murder . Maria even after many years of trying to pull her life together in a new land. Remained the victim to the ghosts that tormented her within. Overcome with depression and lost to her painful past, Maria kills herself. An act that would impact heavily on the lives’ of those she loved, by putting into motion a dark entity that would consume all who it touched. Though it is Maria’s love that prevails, once Sonja discovers the truth about her mother’s death she finds closure, her love once again flows freely. This can be seen by Sonja naming her baby after her mother. “Maria she would say to the earth, my Maria”.
After Maria’s death the true destructive power if evil takes its toll on Bojan “He was no longer a man, but fragments exploding ever outwards”. Though instead of resorting to suicide like his wife. Bojan turned to alcohol, resulting in an internal numbing that disconnected him from the world and suppressed his emotions. This ties in with...