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National Center for Teacher Education

Multicultural Education
Prosperidad Agusan del Sur





The English Patient tracks the

convocation of four people at an Italian villa - a
nurse, a Sikh sapper, a thief, and a badly burned
Englishman - who come to forge an unlikely
family, and together discover the secrets of
their respective pasts, and the emotional
wounds they share. The action takes place at
the end of World War II, in an Italian villa in a
hill town north of Florence. Hana, a nurse, has
decided to stay behind with a severely burned
patient when the rest of the military medical
staff moved on. She has lost everyone to the
war: her father, the man she loved and the child
she was carrying. She takes care of the patient, faceless and nameless (he
claims to have forgotten his name), in part because he helps her sink deeper
into oblivion. She reads to this mysterious man who has already read a lot,
speaks several languages and knows the location of the remotest places in the

The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje, shows the effects that World
War II had on soldiers, as well as the nurses involved in the war. Hana, a
nurse during the war, goes through the devastating loss of her father, Patrick,
who dies in the war. Hana then commits her life to helping a burnt,
disfigured, and severely wounded man, referred to as the English patient.
Hana was very close to her father, so his death damaged her. Both the English
patient and Patrick are similar in a sense that they both suffered from the
same wounds and intense burns. Hana is upset that she was not able to help
her father when he was dying so she attaches herself to the English patient.
The English Patient, suggests that inter-cultural romantic relationships will
ultimately not last due to too many inherent, subconscious differences. It
presents us with a narrative that straightforwardly demonstrates the
devastating effects of war and politics upon the individuals involved in these
institutions. In theory, this film could have gone badly: we could have ended
up with just another “war-is-bad” story to throw upon the heaping pile.

The English Patient displays four destinies forever changed and

shattered by the war and shows that when everything has been taken away:
family, love, face and name, what is left is the sum of experiences, of
memories and the books read. Intertextuality is an important part of both the
novel and the life of the English patient and in that respect, he is truly a
literary character whose life can be read in masterpieces.

Lessons and moral can be found in this movie, especially the

unconditional love a person can bring to another person who needs love and
support. A true kindness we see through Hana that embodies an epitome of a
nurse of war, a courageous women who is willing to serve, help, and fulfill
her duty as a nurse. Gratitude is also can be seen in the eyes of the English
patient, thanking her nurse for helping him even if he is a hopeless case.
Finding the meaning of love was also depicted in the movie, as Hana herself
almost found her ‘the one’ that she thought it would be her partner in life had
been a false hope as he discovers that he love somebody else.

This movie tells us how to be brave in any circumstances we may face.

It teaches us how to be strong and have a little hope even in dire situations.
We must face first the ghost of our past to overcome it and become stronger
again. Thus, this movie taught us many things that we can apply in our lives
that helps us overcome challenges in life.

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