{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

response essay to Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family

response essay to Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Kayla Murphy October 14, 2011 Dr. Anderson/Brown-Spiers ENGL 4000 10:10 Assignment 5 In Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family , the reading experience is more akin to flipping through a photo album or staring into a pool of memories rather than perusing a traditional novel. Characters jumble together, exiting and re-entering the plot without obvious cues. Although the reader knows that this is a story about Ondaatje’s father, Mervyn Ondaatje, the story is more all-encompassing than a mere biography. Ondaatje uses a variety of narrative styles to achieve this, including first-person perspective prose, third-person perspective prose, and poetry. Ondaatje’s subject matter ranges from historical context, to present-day narration, to long-winded descriptions of characters with little mention of his father. All of these subject matters and narrative styles come together to form a complete picture of the life of his father. Ondaatje’s prose sweeps the reader into the world of his father, even when his father is not explicitly mentioned. By doing so, the reader comes to know Ondaatje’s father through a shared experience rather than a rigid, formulaic recounting of Mervyn’s life events. “After the races they would return to Ambalangoda, pick up the oysters ‘which we swallowed with wine if we lost or champagne if we won.’ Couples then paired off casually or with great complexity and danced in a half-hearted manner to the portable gramophone beside the cards. Ambalangoda was the centre for devil dances and exorcism rites, but this charmed group was part of another lost world. The men leaned their chins
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
against the serene necks of women, danced a waltz or two, slid oysters into their partner’s mouths.” (51) This passage, from the vignette “The Babylon Stakes” does not merely describe the frivolous aftermath of the horse races, but shares the experience with the reader. The quoted “‘which we
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern