Writing Techniques in The English Patient

This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The English Patient.
This section contains 470 words
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The English Patient is a richly poetic work, one which relies on tone and style as much as action or character development to hold the reader's attention. Rather than present events chronologically, the book consists of a series of vivid individual scenes in the present coupled with flashbacks and descriptions. By choosing to present his tale in a nonlinear manner—even the flashbacks are random and often without context—Ondaatje creates a complex artistic challenge for himself. He must keep the reader interested through his use of language, through arresting images and apt metaphors. As the reader attempts to make sense of the various episodes past and present he may identify with the English patient's description of Herodotus, "one of those spare men of the desert who travel from oasis to oasis, trading legends as if it is the exchange of seeds, consum ing everything without suspicion...

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This section contains 470 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The English Patient Study Guide
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