The limited character in Michael Ondaatje’s novel, The English Patient, was Almásy. Almásy was a man who was burned from head to toe, and whose identity is unrecognizable thus making him a limited character. The novel takes place in a villa where the man was being taken care of by Hana, a young nurse who stayed behind to take care of Almásy while the rest of the nurses escaped to a safer place to stay. She calls him the English patient because of his accent, though she is unaware of where he is from. The entire novel is focused on the history of the English patient, where he tells the story of his past to Hana, Caravaggio, and Kip. Although in the present Almásy is a limited character, the novel is based on the constant flashbacks of his terrible past where he is a normal man struggling for his true love thus leading him to his present state. The novel beings with Hana, the nurse, who is outside the villa gardening in Italy in year 1945.
There was a European war and the Germans retreated but they left many hidden bombs all around. All the nurses left the villa to live at a safer place, but Hana feels a connection to the English patient, who was first explained to be a man found burned from an airplane crash. As she took care of him, he begun telling her about the Bedouin tribe, which were the people who first found him and took care of him. One day, a man by the name of Caravaggio, an old family friend to Hana’s father, Patrick.A soldier named Kip arrived because he heard Hana playing the piano. Kip ended up staying with Hana, Caravaggio, and the English patient.
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Slowly, Hana and Kip fell in love with each other. This was where all three of them learn about the English patient’s past. Until the beginning of the World War II, the English patient explored the North African desert and became an In the year 1936 he met a man named Geoffrey Clifton and his wife Katherine Clifton who both joined him in his exploration of the desert. He slowly begins and affair with Katherine and falls deeply In love with her. The affair ends within two years, and Geoffrey finds out about it. One day, the English patient asked Geoffrey to pick him up with his private plane. Geoffrey took Katherine with him.
“ It had been planned as a suicide- murder by her husband that would involve all three of us.” (Page 171) He crashed the plane, only trying to aim for the English patient who was waiting on the ground. He killed himself, and deeply injured Katherine. The English patient took her in a cave where he promised her he would be back. He gets caught by the English Army who thought he is a spy, and is thrown in jail. When he is released, he began working for the German and helped their spies get to Cairo. When he leaves Cairo he finds the cave where he had left Katherine and he puts her dead body in a old plane buried under the sand. While flying the plane, it break’s down and he saves himself by using a parachute, although he was burning.
This is when the Bedouin’s find him all burnt.Back to the present, Kip hears that America has bombed Japan, and he blames the English patient and threatens to kill him. He takes a motorcycle.