Character Analysis Of Hana In Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient

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Hana is one of the main characters in Michael Ondaatje’s book The English Patient. Hana is a twenty year old Canadian woman who serves as a nurse in World War II. She spends most of her time alone, scared to love, scared to let someone in, because she knows that the moment she does then she is vulnerable. Leaving her to feel subjected to a life of misery because she knows that every good thing must come to an end. Hana takes her every step not caring whether she lives or dies, as if she has nothing to gain or lose. Living life as if she is a piece of trash waiting to be thrown away. It is her grief, love, and fear that keeps her from moving on in life, taking the one thing she needs the most away from her, her sanity.
First off, Hana’s grief
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She does not intentionally fall for him but it is something about the way he talks to her, his pureness, which draws her in even more. Caravaggio comments“ There was something about him she wanted to learn, grow into, and hide in, where she could turn away from being an adult”(52). When around the English patient Hana is calm and collected, she is somewhere where she feels she can be herself. Hana is an adult yet when she is around the English patient sometimes her mind allows her to go back in time and relive her childhood moments, times when she is overjoyed with life. Hana reads “A love story is not about those who lose their heart but those who find that sullen inhabitant…it is a consuming of oneself and the past” (97). Reading these lines allows Hana to have a sense of thought. She needs to envision herself living the life she always wanted. Letting her see that the only way for her love story to end on good terms is if she finds peace within herself. Shanice weaver suggest “this is her way to make peace with the pain in her present and the pain from her past. His stories helps her heal” (226). Letting go of the past will help her realize that she is in control of herself. Sometimes things are just too heavy to hold on to, and in order to gain strength, Hana has to learn to let…show more content…
The author says “She called everyone ‘buddy’ and laughed at the song that had the lines” (52). Hana does not call her patients by their names because by remembering their name she starts to build a relationship with them, which will allow her to easily become emotionally attached to them. Becoming attached to her patients will make it difficult for her to deal with her emotions once her patients are dead. The author also states “When she woke up she picked up a pair of scissors out of the porcelain bowl, leaned over and began to cut her hair” (49). Hana cuts her hair to ensure that she has nothing that will weld her to death. She wants nothing to do with things that will brighten her memories of times when she was once sad, lost with words, and depressed. Mark Wallace expresses “Hana is physiologically wounded by what she has seen in war. Because of this, she feels she must relate everything back to death” (217). Waking up day after day and seeing people die one after another has a strong hold on her. Thinking that she is cursed because everyone that comes around her dies. In the back of Hana’s mind all that she can think of is who is next. Who else is going to die because they have felt her
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