the true power of Prism’s vision lies in the fact that it challenges the will of the gods and asserts the agency of men. ‘ Discuss. Len David Mallow’s Ransom, the fall of Hector, “the noblest warrior” in all of Troy, causes Prima to become certain of the atrocities soon to befall Troy and its citizens, infusing his responsibilities as a king with a sense of guilt which stems from his “weak protection”.
However, after receiving a vision of him from the goddess Iris, with no symbols of “royal dignity’, Prima embarks on the seemingly ill-fated Journey to retrieve his sons’ body. While the fate of all men is redefined by the gods, Prism’s vision challenges the skeptical notion that all are doomed to follow the will of the gods – that is, their assured destinies. Therefore, by carrying out his vision, Prima asserts that the capacity to change one’s self is ultimately dependent on the individual.
For Mallow, the true power of Prism’s vision results in his own desire to restore both himself and Achilles, in spite of their inevitable deaths. It can be seen that while the destinies of all characters in Ransom are ordained by divine forces, there is an inherent desire in all human beings to establish control over their assured fates. Prima dismisses his rule as a “mockery’ ordained by the gods, believing that his predetermined rule is doomed to end in the violence that will soon consume Troy.
By choosing to label his rule as a “foul-smelling mockery’, Prima positions himself to believe that h...
is stature as a king does not reflect who he truly is: the suppressed “child” Padres, who “suffered [his] first death”, in exchange for power, luxury, and an identity that he gladly took if it meant for survival. The “foul” is pivotal as it demonstrates the progression of his contempt at being manipulated by the gods, and his inner motivation to multitudinously break free of his “obligations” and his responsibilities as king.
In doing so, Mallow seeks to convey that all human beings are fated to follow a particular destiny, and that fate is an intangible notion that ultimately defines us against the rest of society. Mallow portrays one’s extraneous identity as a factor that influences their fate, as in the case of Prima, whose position as king will surely result in his murder in the eventual sacking of Troy.
However, Mallow is not portraying fate as an irreversible timeline in their lives, and that individuals are helpless to combat t; rather, he invites the possibility of challenging fate and differentiating what is fated and what is not, such as the “opportunity to act for ourselves,” to try “something that might force events into a different course”. For Mallow, what cannot be changed in Prism’s life is simply left “to the gods”, and what can be readily changed is merely dependent on “chance”, which is also influenced by his actions, and a willingness to try something “new’ to break free from his fate.
Thus, it is evident that with the necessary perseverance and will, one will be able t
establish a degree of control ever their destinies. Therefore, Mallow portrays human identities as being flexible and not under the god’s controls, and that it is through free will that one will be able to change themselves. Confined into his kingly duties, Prima has had a very selective experience of the world and has “remain[deed] aloof” from the “realm of the incidental and ordinary’, demonstrating his disconnection from the natural world outside the walls of Troy.
The royal palace and the life of the ordinary are contrasted through the formality and tradition of royal customs, and the impoverished hardships pervading wrought ordinary life, which Prima expresses a strong desire to understand and to “expose [himself] at last to what is most human”, much to the chagrin of Polygamy’s, who states that the gods “made [Prima] a king”.
It is evident to see that our destinies are infused with our responsibilities and that it is a fixed notion entirely ordained by the gods; however Prism’s obstinacy to appeal to Achilles ‘simply as a man’ reveals the progression of his determination to change responsibility from that of a king to that of an ordinary father, pleading upon the common grounds of humanity such as family and empathy for our enemies.
It is ultimately Comma’s “personal” and “raw’ stories that force a fundamental change in Prism’s mentality; Somas, who occupies the lower class of the social hierarchy, values the intrinsic facets of life much more appreciatively, such as the making of griddlecakes and the “nibbling” of one’s feet in the streams, and is more devoted to what remains of his family, with “none of [his children] now living”.
In contrast, Prima never thought that there “might be ingredients” in his food, having had the luxury of food being provided to him due to his position. Mallow symbolizes Prism’s “innocence” to the world through the use of imagery of the suppressed “child” within himself. Moreover, he demonstrates the inherent urge within us to expose ourselves to the world of the new, and thus Prima develops a “newfound eye for irrelevant happenings” and views life with a “growing respect”.
In addition, Comma’s personal anguish of the death of his children forces Prima to re-evaluate his relationship with his children, who he admits have a “formal and symbolic” relationship to him. The vivid detail in which Somas describes the death of his children prompts Prima to question whether he felt the same intensity of motions that Somas did towards the death of his children, and it is after this incident that Prima is able to understand what it truly means to be an ordinary father acting out of love for his son’s body.
Hence, for Mallow, it is Prism’s intent to carry out his vision and his resulting transformation during the Journey that is emblematic of his metaphoric departure from an identity of royal ignorance to one that defies the characteristics of a king. For Mallow, the true power of Prism’s vision results from his defiance of what seems to be predetermined by the gods, motivated by a desire to vibrate both himself and Achilles from