Michael Ondaatje Writing Styles in The English Patient

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The novel takes place during World War II. The timing of the novel is integral to several of the themes it explores, including the role of nationhood in the identity of the individual, and the illusion of the honor of war.

Setting the novel during World War II also gives Ondaatje a backdrop through which to examine the effect of the colonialism of Britain on the world policies of the United States in later years: World War II marked the end of Britain's powerful colonial era, and the rise of the United States as the new world power. The emergence of the United States as the world power is metaphorically represented, in the novel, by the bombing of Hiroshima. Through the character of Kip, Ondaatje shows how the American rationale to bomb Japan with the atomic bomb is directly related to the racist colonialist philosophy of Western superiority...

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This section contains 2,084 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
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