As the novel begins with an opening of nature and its descriptions, which has once terrified Ovid before he went to live with the village and their inhabitants. Ovid is stripped from the life he has always known into a life that is simply made for bare survival, he is now given the minimum to live off. He has a roof off his head, metamorphically speaking made out of straw and mud. Living basically outside with nature where he encounters all sorts of insects that one might find unbearable especially him in his old life. But he states “you get used to it”, that had to be a huge adjustment coming from him. That is when I began seeing his character change into accepting this is his life now. Although he does relate many occasions back to his old life, it is clear he does begin adapting to this new lifestyle whether he forced himself or not. He does feel in exile and stripped off of his complete opposite life especially in the occasion of the language barrier. He was unable to communicate with anyone of the village, he gave the example of how a child communicates with hand gesture and face expressions. That is how he felt about trying to interact with either the women hand picking the grins or trying to understand Ryzak giving orders o the field to his son or other men. Ovid would joyfully weep when someone, anyone, would understand his words when he was attempting to say something to the other individual. Due to the language barrier he even began thinking of speaking “spider language” or any creatures’ way of communicating because of how difficult it was to understand the whole village whom have lived amongst each other their whole life so an outsider, like Ovid, had much difficulty understanding them. Once he had a small breakthrough in understanding the tone of voice they all spoke in, he understood what Ryzak was saying depending on who he spoke to and how. It was trivial situations like this that allowed the reader to see how Ovid really felt like and how he had to overcome this by putting a stop to feeling sorry for himself and finally attempt to live their lifestyle in their way. Using example of his old knowledge from back home helped him understand the main differences especially on the lifestyle. Such as, comparing the Roman Empire and its gods to how the survival of winter was crucial for him and the village.
As Ovid is taking on hunting with the old man that although he states may be a boring man with just sleep and work on his schedule, it fascinates Ovid completely. Before this occurrence, he stayed listening to one of the man’s stories knowingly he did not understand a single word the man said. Now in this situation, I found astonishing that although Ovid had no clue what the man was talking about, he undoubtedly stayed and began imagining what the story was about and even came to the conclusion that he had heard the story before because of the tone of voice the man had. Ovid does change his character from being pampered to seeing the other life there is in nature. who would have known seeds or grains would have made him cherish the end of winter and beginning of Spring time?
“What else is death but the refusal any longer to grow and suffer change?” (page 80, Malouf). An unrecognized lifestyle was put onto to Ovid and came to accept the change he had to overcome while relating to death. As Ovid relates to death, I came to comprehend it was also being in the state of acceptance where is was brought into a whole new world with a different culture and language spoken. Death in the means of nature and communication skills that had to be expanded because of the of a new lifestyle which included learning a new language in exile.
His old life seeps into his current lifestyle from time to time and I believe it helps the reader shape Ovid into the new person he is becoming. For example, Ovid envisions his father and the brother whom passed away
Ovid begins to describe his sunset where the earth is given human characteristics as “another body that has absorbed the sun” in which it warms him up. “The earth’s warmth under me, as I stretch out at night, is astonishing. It is like the warmth of another body that has absorbed the sun all day and now gives out again its store of heat.” (page 86, Malouf). As Ovid is experiencing his sunset while the cold night is approaching, he describes it as another human form whom is keeping him warm. One can view it as “nothing compares to a mother’s hug”. Without knowing this was one of Ovid’s last sunsets, he described it in such a way like it was going to be his last. Aside from the sun having those characteristics, he also goes on to describe every aspect of the earth with human forms. It is as if the earth was mothering him and taking care of him through that night.
In the opening of the novel, The Child is seen as a magical, confounding character who is barely even human, and without question not an individual from everyday life. He is only seen through the eyes of Ovid in an alternate way. He is bewildered at the young men presence and on occasion fixated on bringing him into present day. As Ovid builds up his association with The Child, two limits of making due in a specific situation turn out to be clear, and both think about presence in the other world to be incomprehensible.
The Child is a critical worldview of how people and the scene are laced and developed to be one. One might say that the common habitat that the child is so used to, impacted Ovid to the degree that age and components of the human personality are not more noteworthy, yet the presence of life is everlasting. The Child is a significant character whose identity is changed and impacted through an extreme change of lifestyle, like Ovid. The Child, in sense, speaks to how societal restrictions can hurt ones’ character, and how non-congruity can manufacture outside clash. An example from the text, “grain by grain, into the hands of the gods. It is the place I dreamed of so often, back there in Tomis, but could never find in all my wanderings in sleep – the point on the earth’s surface where I disappear” (89, Malouf).