The English Patient

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 Your essay (1500 words) should focus on your interpretation of the novel, and go beyond the analysis presented in the course notes. It must also incorporate at least two secondary sources to support your analysis. Please follow the essay format guidelines on your course outline and the requirements for essays listed on the Essay Evaluation Checklist. The essay must be submitted by the end of Week 10 . 1. Ondaatje said in an interview that the novel is about the process of healing. Compare the nature of that process for Hana and Caravaggio. 2. Almasy proclaims that he hates ownership and naming. How is this point of view explored and assessed through the historic and personal plots of the novel? What thematic statement is developed about ownership and naming? 3. Ondaatje has emphasized the central importance of Kip’s relationship with the English patient. Discuss the nature of this relationship and its thematic significance to the novel. 4. How do the novel’s postmodern narrative structure and shifting perspectives contribute to the development of particular themes? 5. “But here they were shedding skins. They could imitate nothing but what they were” (117). Discuss the theme of the search for identity as manifest in two or more characters. 6. Discuss the significance of one or more patterns of imagery: earth, wind, fire, water, darkness and light. How do these image patterns contribute to the development of character and theme? 7. Almasy writes in his book, “There are betrayals in war that are childlike compared to our betrayals in peace” (97). Discuss the development of the theme of betrayal—both personal and political—in relation to two of the characters. 8. How does the title embody a central theme of the novel? What is the novel exploring about the link between nationalism, war, and human suffering? 9. What themes is the novel developing about the impact of war on individuals? 10. How are the two main setting of the novel—the desert and the villa—developed as ideal nationless states that allow the true essence of humanity to emerge? 11. Discuss the relationship of Hana and her patient. How does he become the catalyst for significant changes in her life?

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