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What use does McLaverty make of the themes of flight and Religion in Lamb?

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What use does McLaverty make of the themes of flight and Religion in Lamb At the start of the novel we read about how Owen is an outsider in the home. He is isolated in the home because of his epilepsy, and the fact that he isn't allowed to swim with the rest of the boys. The other boys give him names such as "Kane the Stain" "Bet wetter". They don't understand and exclude him. When they go to London, once again they are excluded. Everyone rushed around like they had somewhere to go. But they don't have a clue. Other minor things make them outsiders; the fact that Michael had to hold up a set of Drawers for the woman to recognise what he meant and they stayed in a hotel. All these minor things build up the feeling that Michael and Owen are outsiders in the home and London. ...read more.


Owen wants to escape his past, his family and the home. He tries to escape by mitching but soon realises that he cannot escape that way. Owen openly displays his hatred for the home in front of Sebastian; the repetition of "Loathe" clearly illustrates this. Brother Sebastian is unhappy with the methods of Brother Benedict. He refuses to use punishment against the boys, and tries to show them love from the inside. But he too soon realises that the only way that he can be truly happy is from the outside. Brother Sebastian wants to escape Benedict's ways, his logic or lack of, and to show Owen a life he never knew. Away from harsh punishment; away from hate, away from Ireland. The theme of flight is used by McLaverty to illustrate this desire. McLaverty constantly reminds us about this theme through minor things such as the Glider that Michael and Owen build and the Icarus story that Michael reads to Owen. ...read more.


The most obvious one is when Michael holds up Owen, and Owen offers the bread to the gulls. This symbolic act is clearly religious. The religious theme is carefully embedded in the selection of names of various characters. Brother Sebastian for example. Sebastian was the first martyr to be persecuted. Brother Sebastian is Michael Lamb. Lamb is the sacrificial lamb that was used to sacrifice to God in olden days. Owen is the Gaelic for Lamb, therefore a direct connection with Michael. And Owen's grandmother used to call him lamb. Michael signed the log in at the hotel as Abraham. Abraham in the Old Testament was willing to sacrifice his only son as an act of obedience to God. The title of the book that the secretary was reading was called an "Act of love" and that really is what it was. Little hints like that is embedded all thought the novel, and that's how McLaverty makes use of the themes of flight and Religion in Lamb ...read more.

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