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"The Hunter is a book marked by loss." Discuss.

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Introduction

"The Hunter is a book marked by loss." Discuss. The Armstrong family is marked by loss. When Jarrah died Bike and Sass became orphans. As a mother Lucy no longer exists in Sass and Bikes lives, she is just a 'Sleeping Beauty' (P 18). Sass was abandoned in hospital, lying down in bed alone, unable to move. Bike is in foster care in some strange place among strangers, '...schoolyard taunts - your mothers in a looney bin.' (P 152) Lucy has lost her mind and her life. The great loss that surrounds Jarrahs death has engulfed the entire Armstrong family. Sass and Bike have essentially lost both parents. 'As for M, he who is anchored by neither wife nor home, nor by a lover nor even a single friend... ' (P 15) M is alone in the world; he has no one. ...read more.

Middle

(P 117) Despite achieving this level of awareness up on the plateau, back at the house he refuses emotional contact and distrusts women and children. 'He wishes he was up there now, up where it is calm and pure, space enough for a man to think.' (P 139) In his lone M is goes by unaffected by his human condition as other men do. He sees the weakness among man and attempts to eliminate them in order to perfect his mind frame for his mission, to bring him closer to 'godliness'. 'Not like others he once knew, soldiers who refused to leave for a job because at the last minute they'd misplaced their lucky spoon, or a memento from a past lover or, worse, a dear departed colleague.' (P 25) He did not allow himself to place such feeble hope in hopeless matters. ...read more.

Conclusion

(P 139) To survive in this wasteland he has learned to slough off unnecessary detritus and so he concludes that his brief period of affection for the family was 'a monumental lapse of judgement.' (P 47) M comforts himself when he loses his tenuous grip on some sort of emotional attachment by believing that it will make him stronger. 'What he sees now is that he has been tested, steeled, and seduced, and that is his true purpose is... to be a hunter, to harvest the tiger.' (P 148) M's protestations are flimsy, though, for he constantly resorts to universal mythical metaphors to explain the uncertainties; to translate the aching emptiness in his heart. His great tragedy in his incapacity to find within himself the necessary words to describe 'the beautiful terribleness of the deed' (P 164), when he finally achieves it. This is a dark tale about the need for vigilance; to constantly strive for connectedness in our lives. Maybe M is not the lost soul he appears to be. Maybe there is hope for him yet. ...read more.

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