Essay Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient

Essay Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient

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Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient


The limited character in Michael Ondaatje’s novel, The English Patient, was Almásy. Almásy was a man who was burned from head to toe, and whose identity is unrecognizable thus making him a limited character. The novel takes place in a villa where the man was being taken care of by Hana, a young nurse who stayed behind to take care of Almásy while the rest of the nurses escaped to a safer place to stay. She calls him the English patient because of his accent, though she is unaware of where he is from. The entire novel is focused on the history of the English patient, where he tells the story of his past to Hana, Caravaggio, and Kip. Although in the present Almásy is a limited character, the novel is based on the constant flashbacks of his terrible past where he is a normal man struggling for his true love thus leading him to his present state.

     The novel beings with Hana, the nurse, who is outside the villa gardening in Italy in year 1945. There was a European war and the Germans retreated but they left many hidden bombs all around. All the nurses left the villa to live at a safer place, but Hana feels a connection to the English patient, who was first explained to be a man found burned from an airplane crash. As she took care of him, he begun telling her about the Bedouin tribe, which were the people who first found him and took care of him. One day, a man by the name of Caravaggio, an old family friend to Hana’s father, Pa...

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