English Patient Themes

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A theme in The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje is that you can’t escape your past. This is demonstrated by each main characters’ behavior and thoughts throughout the novel. Hana, the nurse, can’t escape her pain and grief she is suffering from because of the loss of her father, Kip is haunted by his nationality and his experiences in the war and the English patient or Almasy is haunted by his decision to get involved with a married woman. All of the main characters have regrets and can’t forget about their lives in the past and only time will heal and let them move on.
Firstly, Hana is dealing with the grief of losing her father in the war while she was overseas being a nurse for other wounded soldiers. Her decisions are constantly influenced by her painful memories that she holds onto like her obsession with the English patient, her want to stay in a dangerous villa secluded and her falling in love with the patients. The patient reminds Hana of her father because he was also burned beyond recognition and Hana feels like she need to save this patients so she can feel better about not being near him
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Caravaggio was a spy for Canada in the second world war but was caught and tortured. While being interrogated he had both of his thumbs cut off as a punishment for spying and he has been covering up his hands ever since. The thumbs up and down in my picture is a representation of Caravaggio’s hand literally but also for his feelings. He lost two major parts of his body and they are what are typically thought of as separate human from other animals, opposable thumbs. Caravaggio was devastated when this happened and has had to learn how to live with four fingers, the clock relates to Caravaggio as well because he needed time to learn how to adapt to the situation he was put in by both armies in the war. He used the time and became in control in his life and his thoughts about what happened to

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