Identity In Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient

1489 Words6 Pages
“Identities are not as clear or transparent as we think rather they are problematic. Instead of thinking of identity as an already accomplished fact, we should think of it as a product, which is never complete, and is always in process” (Hall 394). The question of identity is always a complicated one, particularly for those who are culturally migrated. Immigrants are those who spend their lives in two worlds; they cannot relate with any of the two worlds where they are living. Due to migration, immigrants’ identities become problematic; they have quest for identity, nationality, shelter and status. When a person strides the borders of two different cultures, as do characters in Lahiri’s fiction, the situation becomes even more complicated. Characters are confined to their problematic identities, they questions themselves; are they Americans or Indians? They have to choose one identity over other which they cannot do till the end, they stroll between both identities.…show more content…
In Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient characters’ identities also go through a process of shift because of the difference of places. His character Almasy lives in Africa and falls in love with Katherine. Katherine’s husband comes to know about their affair and makes a plan to kill them. He also plans to kill himself even in a plane crash. Almasy is not killed and Katherine gets wounded, he leaves her in a cave. He cannot go back to Katherine for three years and works as a spy in Germany. Almasy is an explorers of deserts and his identity changes like Jhumpa lahiri’s characters. He also go to different places and tries to adopt a new identity willingly or unwillingly. He spends more than ten years on a desert but does not feel that this place belongs to him. As Almasy notes that he cannot own this place, this is just a piece of cloth surrounded by wind, its identity, it has given so many shifting names (The English Patient

More about Identity In Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient

Open Document