Running in the Family, by Michael Ondaatje

1046 Words5 Pages
Ondaatje’s “running in the family” is an elaborate representation of the author’s unique perspective and identity. Ondaatje’s identity is represented by his unique desire to present his memories in irrational and imaginary themes, and his argue to represent the natural characteristics of his ancestors.

“Running in the family,” is a fictionalized memoir, written by Michael Ondaaji. Michael Ondaatje is a writer from a Ceylonese origin. Due to his parents’ divorce, He was forced to leave his native country with his mother at a young age. After living in Canada for twenty five years, he decides to visit Ceylon; and learn about his family and ancestors. The memoir represents glimpses of the author’s family history. It presents a story about the author’s great grandfather, who is an immigrant physician. It describes his grandfather, a rich lawyer, and his extravagant Grandmother Lalla. Furthermore, it contains multiple stories from the author’s childhood. It predominantly focuses on the author’s parental conflict. It indicates his father’s dipsomania and solitude; as well as, his mother’s suffering.

Ondaatje aims to transform the reader from the rigid realm of factual certainty to the realm of subjective and imaginative perception. He intends to capture the reader within his own thoughts and ideas; and forces the reader to look at truth from Ondaatje’s eyes. He captures the reader within a chaotic thought process. He uses a variety of random incomplete stories. Ondaatje encourages the reader to not question “what actually happened” but rather question the method by which the author thought it happened. The author’s perception and thought are the main construction of his character; therefore, it is the core of the autho...

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...ed mixture of a tremendous variety of ethnic groups. He points out his parents’ habit of dramatizing event in their life, and then directly connects it to his desire to add life to the frozen stories of his family members. Ondaatje believes that these characteristics have influenced him in one way or another and shaped his unique nature.

In conclusion, Ondaatje writes his memoir, “Running in the family” to reflect different corners and angles of his identity to the reader. Ondaatje doesn’t aim to represent impartial and absolute facts; rather, he chooses to reflect his perspective and thoughts to the readers. These thoughts may not be logical or absolute; however, they allow the reader to see with the author’s eyes and think with the author’s mind. He gives glimpses of his Family’s traits; in order to, show the complex components of his identity.
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