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The English Patient

Uploaded by pharaoh on Jun 05, 2002

In Michael Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient, the author demonstrates how dreadful the time of the war was. He proves that the victims were all subject to extreme suffering, torture and even abuse by weapons of the time period of World War 2. Suffering is seen in many parts of the novel and truly represents what life during World War 2 was really like.

Suffering is best known to man as to undergo, experience, or be subjected to pain, loss, grief, defeat, etc. In the novel suffering was compared by the author from World War 2 and the characters. The main character who was the English patient suffered the most out of everyone due to the fact that he was burnt all over his body and was not able to do or feel anything. The English patient was nursed back to health by a kind loving woman who suffered as much as he did. The nurses suffered from shell shock in the novel as in the nurses from World War 2.

“Nurses too become shell - shocked from the dying around them. They would carry a severed arm down a hall, or swab at blood that never stopped, as if the wound were a well, and they began to believe in nothing, trusted nothing”
(The English Patient, 41)

The nurses from the novel became shell-shocked from the dying around them, they were beginning to go crazy because everyone was bleeding, they had no hope to live anymore, and they were suffering due to soldiers dieing. This compares to World War 2 because medical services went through the same thing.

“Battle exhaustion, the Second World War equivalent of the “shell shock” of the Great War or today’s Combat Stress Reaction, had been a major problem for all three Allied armies in Italy, and the medical services were well prepared to deal with it in Normandy.” (Harris, 34)

The allied armies in Italy suffered from shell shock from the nurses that were helping soldiers from dying. The military nurses were very much involved in the turmoil that was going on during the war. Not to mention that nurses were also imprisoned and taken advantage of. This expresses how suffering was obtained through out the war and related towards the novel. Torture was expressed through out the whole novel by Ondaatje with the English patient and his burns.

Michael Ondaatje expresses how torture is related from the novel...

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Uploaded by:   pharaoh

Date:   06/05/2002

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (862 words)

Views:   2183

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