Literature Study GuidesThe English Patient

The English Patient | Study Guide

Michael Ondaatje

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Course Hero. "The English Patient Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Feb. 2018. Web. 5 June 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. (2018, February 13). The English Patient Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 5, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "The English Patient Study Guide." February 13, 2018. Accessed June 5, 2020.


Course Hero, "The English Patient Study Guide," February 13, 2018, accessed June 5, 2020,


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Michael Ondaatje

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Most of The English Patient is told from the third-person omniscient point of view, focusing on the perspectives of various characters. Occasionally the narration shifts to the first-person point of view of the English patient.


The English Patient is written in both the present and past tenses as it describes both present events in the villa and past events from the lives of the characters.

About the Title

The English Patient refers to the nickname of the main character—a burn victim whose identity is erased by his injuries, as well as by his desire for anonymity.


This study guide and infographic for Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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