Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
The Lion Seeker
"Here is the South African novel I've been waiting for." - Lynn Freed
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

What is the significance of the title?

Created: 08/24/14

Replies: 7

Posted Aug. 24, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

Expert

What is the significance of the title?

What is the significance of the title, especially as it relates to the life of Isaac Helger?


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

Expert

RE: What is the significance of the title?

Although the lion is symbolic of many traits, the three I feel are represented in this novel are strength, courage, and honor.
Many ancient cultures viewed the lion as a solar animal symbol even though it is primarily a nocturnal creature, hunting mostly at night. As a solar and lunar symbol, then, the lion gives a symbolic message of balance and sound judgment. Sharing the world of both night and day, it conveys the message of prudence for the human world to keep an even mind and overall balance in the activities of life.
Isaac is the lion seeker, seeking strength, courage, and honor. He faces many challenges and setbacks in his pursuit of these characteristics and maintaining balance throughout his life's experiences.


Posted Sep. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RebeccaF

Join Date: 08/24/14

Posts: 12

RE: What is the significance of the title?

I agree with Marie; I also think the lion is an emblem of independence, as in the name of the motor company. Perhaps the symbolic 'lion' and 'lamb' are also set up as opposites, in the same way as Clevers and Stupids? "Are you a lion or are you a sheep? ... So decide it. A Stupid or a Clever, a lion or a lamb, no other way." (430)


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 74

Expert

RE: What is the significance of the title?

A lion symbolic of king of the beasts, courage, fearlessness. Isaac was always on a quest to be on top. He was in love with Yvonne and her life style in "The Castle" to be on top. He pursued any avenue that would lead to wealth and power. Also, the lion seems to be symbolic of Africa, the land that the Lithuanian Jews escaped to for freedom. Aavrom's Lion's Rock, Isaac's Lion Motors, the Lion's Shul, all symbols of power. The title was most appropriate.


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 142

Expert

RE: What is the significance of the title?

I think Isaac was always looking for something to make him successful. The lion is considered to be an animal that is successful...revered and fearful.


Posted Sep. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 155

Expert

RE: What is the significance of the title?

Isn't the lion the king of the jungle. The most feared. Fitting title to the story.


Posted Sep. 10, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joanr

Join Date: 04/25/12

Posts: 37

RE: What is the significance of the title?

One of the pivotal scenes of the novel is Avrom's discussion with Isaac on Lion's Rock, where he tells of his encounter with a lion. Avrom says to Isaac, "Are you a lion or are you a sheep? Better decide it right now. For your life. Right now.....You decide how you want it, your one life.....If you can't find the lion inside here now, then you don't deserve your chance." Isaac immediately thinks of Gitelle's question, are you a Stupid or a Clever? Isaac decides that lion and Clever are the same and proceeds to make some heartbreaking decisions in the book in his search for his lion within.


Posted Sep. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
roberts

Join Date: 08/20/13

Posts: 31

RE: What is the significance of the title?

The lion is an ancient Jewish symbol, being the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah. In the Bible the lion is capable both of destroying and punishing, on the one hand, and of saving and protecting, on the other. Isaac manifested all of these qualities. He was intent upon destroying Meyer and Avrom, just as he was protective of his parents. The lion represents the opposing sides of Isaac's character.

In addition the lion suggests power and control, and Isaac was intent upon shaking the shackles of his environment and controlling his life. He rebelled against rules and strictures, and even his verboten relationship with Yvonne had an important element of power and possession. So many times Isaac ruminated, "She is mine and no one else's".


Reply

Please login to post a response.