The English Patient Essay
In Michael Ondaatjes 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 todays 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 and World War 2 by how the English patient was tortured, and how he battled rough times when his plane was shot down and crashed out of the sky and landed in the desert. The Germans held the English patient in imprisonment and began to torture him.
They stopped torturing you because the Allies were coming. The Germans were getting out of the city, blowing up bridges as they left.
(The English Patient, 60)
The allies released the English patient and he was soon found by a tribe who gave him to the loving nurse that took care of him. When the war was over the remaining people in those concentration camps who were alive were released to the Allies. This was compared to World War 2 because the Germans took imprisonment of people and tortured them until they died or later committed suicide.
The New Order meant torture, prison, firing squads and concentration camps.
The war was a gruesome time for torture because countries were fighting against each other and wanted to win. Weapons were also used against characters in the novel and at war.
The author based abused of weapons from World War 2 for the novel. The characters in the novel had to keep an eye out everywhere because people had guns, bombs, etc. Bridges was being destroyed, mines were exploding all over the place, and many people were dieing due to these events.
Bombs were attached to taps, to the spines of books; they were drilled into fruit trees so an apple falling onto a lower branch would detonate the tree…
(The English Patient, 75)
The lovely nurse that was taking care of the English patient had to be aware in the place were she stayed because bombs could go off anywhere and whenever an accident happened. People were being killed left and right by airplanes, tanks, and guns in World War 2.
Homes are turned inside out by the bombs destructive force. People were killed and left there to rot…
Civilians during the war had to be aware of bombs exploding where they lived because the war was going on. The countries during the battles planted bombs, and mines for other enemies to be killed suddenly. The novel and World War 2 compare with weapons because Michael Ondaatje continuously talks about guns, bombs, and how the characters are affected like many people who fought in the war was.
In the novel The English Patient, the author makes evident that war is a great time of suffering. In the case of World War Two, many people under went torture and abused just to fight for their own country. The novel makes obvious what the war was really like by using specific and graphic details of the weapons that were used and experiences that occurred.
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