Michael Ondaatje Writing Styles in Coming Through Slaughter

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Point of View

Throughout Coming through Slaughter, Michael Ondaatje shifts perspective with the jarring rapidity of the jazz about which he writes. Much of the tale is told in the first person by the protagonist Charles ("Buddy") Bolden, a historical figure whose life story is her fictionalized. Buddy is a great jazz innovator, journalist, lover, husband, father and barber until jealousy makes him slash up a friend and client and then disappear for two years. In exile he falls in love with a married woman and lives with her and her husband. Meanwhile, his long-time friend, Detective Webb, interviews people to figure out where he is. Finding him, Webb talks him into coming home, where Buddy seems to adjust for four days before dramatically going insane during a parade at age 31. He spends the next 24 years silently in a mental hospital.

Sometimes Ondaatje narrates anonymously; ther times a character...

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This section contains 1,714 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Coming Through Slaughter Study Guide
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