master's thesis
The question of identity in Michael Ondaatje's „The English Patient“

Ana Bošnjak (2016)
University of Zadar
Department of English
Metadata
TitleThe question of identity in Michael Ondaatje's „The English Patient“
AuthorAna Bošnjak
Mentor(s)Senka Božić-Vrbančić (thesis advisor)
Abstract
A group of characters of mixed nationalities is situated in an Italian villa in the last stages of WWII. Each of them is lost on an unknown territory, away from their loved ones and asking themselves many questions in search of their identity after being crippled by the war. Gradually, through storytelling, they let their guards down and find comfort in the presence of others. The author Michael Ondaatje, an immigrant himself, portrays Canadian multiculturalism when he lets the characters discard their national identities and choose to form their own, based on their personalities and relationships with others. Hana, a Canadian nurse, stays behind her troop to take care of a patient that is burned beyond recognition. In him, she sees all the men she was not able to save, including her father and decides to reduce his suffering on his deathbed. The patient is merely known as 'the English Patient' due to his English manner and accent. Although it seems that he has lost his memory, flashbacks that he experiences give us fragments of his life story. Canadian thief Caravaggio blames the English patient for losing his thumbs in war which were part of his identity and wishes to have his revenge. The character that shows real coloniser-colonised relationships is Kip, a Sikh sapper working for the British army dismantling bombs. He is estranged from his Indian family but not completely accepted into British society. He is an 'in-between' character of special interest for Ondaatje, who uses his reactions to further explore major postcolonial themes – those of nationalism and identity.
Parallel title (Croatian)Pitanje identiteta u Micheal Ondaatjeovom The English Patient
GranterUniversity of Zadar
Lower level organizational unitsDepartment of English
PlaceZadar
StateCroatia
Scientific field, discipline, subdisciplineHUMANISTIC SCIENCES
Philology
Theory and History of Literature
Study programme typeuniversity
Study levelgraduate
Study programmeEnglish Language and Literature (double major); specializations in: Teaching, Research
Study specializationTeaching
Academic title abbreviationmag. educ. philol. angl.
Genremaster's thesis
Language English
Defense date2016-09-29
Parallel abstract (Croatian)
Grupa likova miješanih nacionalnosti smještena je u talijansku vilu u zadnjim etapama Drugog svjetskog rata. Izgubljeni na nepoznatom teritoriju i daleko od najmilijih postavljaju si mnoga pitanja u potrazi za svojim identitetom. Postepeno, kroz razgovor i pričanje priča, stječu povjerenje jedni u druge i pronalaze utjehu. Autor Michael Ondaatje, također imigrant, vješto prikazuje multikulturalizam Kanade kada likovi odbacuju svoje nacionalne identitete i odlučuju izgraditi vlastite koji će se temeljiti na njihovim osobnostima i međusobnim odnosima. Hana, medicinska sestra iz Kanade, ostavlja svoju vojnu trupu kako bi se brinula za pacijenta koji je zadobio opekotine u ratu. U njemu vidi sve one pacijente koje nije uspjela spasiti, pa tako i svog oca te odlučuje umanjiti mu patnje na smrtnoj postelji. Pacijent je poznat pod imenom 'Engleski pacijent' zbog svojih engleskih manira i naglaska. Iako se čini da je izgubio pamćenje, njegova priča, kroz retrospekciju, ipak dolazi na površinu. Kanadski lopov Caravaggio krivi engleskog pacijenta zbog gubitka palčeva u ratu koji su bili dio njegovog identiteta te želi osvetu. Lik koji otkriva prave odnose između kolonizatora i koloniziranih je Kip, sik koji razmontirava bombe za britansku vojsku. Otuđen je od vlastite obitelji, ali nije ni potpuno prihvaćen u britanskom društvu. On je lik koji je 'između' pa je od posebnog interesa za Ondaatjea koji koristi njegove reakcije kako bi dublje istražio glavne postkolonijalne teme – nacionalizam i pitanje identiteta.
Parallel keywords (Croatian)identity nationality territory war postcolonialism multiculturalism identitet nacionalnost teritorij rat postkolonijalizam multikulturalizam
Resource typetext
Access conditionOpen access
Terms of usehttp://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
URN:NBNhttps://urn.nsk.hr/urn:nbn:hr:162:365542
CommitterGorica Lovrić