Hi, need to submit a 1250 words paper on the topic Consider matters of nation and identity in Michael Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient.

Hi, need to submit a 1250 words paper on the topic Consider matters of nation and identity in Michael Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient. It talks about how Hana, a young nurse, spends most of her time with a patient whom she grows to care a lot about. Despite not knowing his name or his identity, she tries to heal his body which has been burned black in carnage by a plane crash. Little by little, as the story unfurls, the patient is revealed to be Almasy and his story consists of a desperate plea to hang on to his nationality while forging his identity so that he would not get caught during the war by the enemy. This paper helps to provide an insight into the story by harping on the meaning and importance of nationalism and identity as described by the author, with the help of suitable quotes and explanations. Identity is the way by which an individual understands his affiliation towards a particular way of life and thought process. it teaches a person about the gender, race or caste that he belongs to and helps him identify with other people belonging to the same. In the English Patient, the author’s writings against the backdrop of the Second World War in the 1990’s helps the reader to comprehend the very notion of identity by helping to understand how western imperialism and colonial domination disposed people belonging to different races and cultures around the world, and brought them to believe that being white and superior is the only way to living a substantial life. Throughout the story it may be witnessed that the characters have succumbed to such thinking and through the eyes of Almasy and Kip, they have thrown away their personal identities and nationalism just to be accepted by the western class. Almasy was forced to succumb to the desert however he does this only be forging his identity by way of his characteristics and interactions with the people around him. The isolated villa where the patient has been trapped, as well as the desert is a place where one would not care about personal identity as such because it is irrelevant. For Hana as well, it was not important to know who she was trying to heal or care about. all she knew was that she was doing her job as it involved taking care of sick patients. The actual identity of the ‘English Patient’ is not to be known to anyone because the colour of his skin has been burned away because of the crash and just like the desert, he is without fixed contours. In reality, the man is from Hungary even though he is mistaken to be English. The author writes, “He had rambled on, driving them mad, traitor or ally, leaving them never quite sure who he was” (p.96). Furthermore, Kip, the Indian Sikh bomb diffuser, was also caught up in the flurry of identity because he came from a country where at the time, people were forced to obey the rules laid down by the British and thus, he became extremely used to westernised ideas and a western way of living life – something he did at the cost of his own racial identity. The author has tried to explain through these circumstances that people change their identities because they feel that they will be accepted more in society. Kip was under the impression that Hana would only love him, or he would be accepted in her life only if he westernized his way of living for her. However, it is important to note that at a time like a war raging among various countries in the world, it is important to stay true to one’s national identity for the sake of patriotism.

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