Light is definitely a theme in the novel. Many of the scenes take place at night, with crimes, gatherings, and illegal activity taking place at night but Ondaatje always seems to point out specific instances of light. For example, Patrick Lewis's childhood passion was collecting fireflies, the last word he utters in the novel is "lights". I don't think it is a coincidence that the master thief in the novel is named Caravaggio. Besides alluding to the fact that they are both great at their crafts, Ondaatje may also have been preoccupied with the real life artist's trend-setting use of light in his paintings. And since Patrick is described as a "searcher" fascinated by the light of creatures around him--both fireflies and other human characters--it's fitting that Caravaggio plays a big part in Patrick's development and guiding his final adventure. Ondaatje made a point of showing how Patrick realises he relies on those around him for an identity, i.e. "he himself was nothing but a prism that refracted their lives" (157).

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