Assimilation/Self-discovery: A Study of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (1992)

  •  Ashraf Zidan    


This article studies Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient (1992) as a journey for self-discovery after the
characters’ passive and failed assimilation in Europe. It tries to discuss the three following issues: Kirpal Singh’s
process of assimilation, the side effects of assimilation, and finally the main reasons for the failure of
assimilation. This topic, “Assimilation/Self-discovery: A Study of Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient”, is
investigated within the framework of the following: the concept of the ‘Other’, Third space, and Multiculturalism.
This study also elucidates the main different definitions of assimilation, and how Western societies
(European/American) have miscellaneous reactions to/applications of such an elusive concept. The researcher
has come to prefer integration to assimilation. The former enables us to participate without suppressing our
identities. Finally, this study also comes to highlight the dignity of the East and to resist the spirit of mimicry,
hegemony and rigidity.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1925-4768
  • Issn(Onlne): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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