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Structure Created Through Confusion-The English Patient

             In The English Patient, written by Michael Ondaatje exhibits third person omniscient point of view to develop a postmodern novel, which develops confusion and consumes the reader into the plot. For the most part, The English Patient is classified as being written in third person omniscient point of view because there is no single narrator and each character has an unlimited access of knowledge of the events. This style is a strong technique that enables Ondaatje to incorporate historical events into the novel, through fictional characters. Through the four main characters, the English patient (Almásy), Hana, Caravaggio, and Kip, the reader learns about four separate characters, and their paths of bringing them together. Ondaatje intertwines these histories through the characters' stories, to create a single story. Ondaatje's technique of intertwining these plots is often seen as confusing to the reader, because the third person omniscient aspect is often difficult to differentiate because Ondaatje writes some parts in first person point of view as well, therefore distinguishing who the speaker is, as well if the event is in the past or in the present. .
             Ondaatje is known for using postmodernism as an element in his novels. For example, when searching on google.com, and typing in the keywords, "postmodern fiction- and "Ondaatje- approximately 900 links appear. At Central Queensland University, there is a Postmodern Literature course and one of the focused novels is The English Patient. Postmodernism is "a style and movement in the arts that features a deliberate mixing of different style- (Postmodernism). Postmodernism celebrates fragmentation and incoherence. In The English Patient, Ondaatje uses a multi-narrated effect, which creates "fragmented forms, discontinuous narratives, and random-seeming collages of different materials- (Klages). Ondaatje begins the novel in the present, with Hana in the garden, she then goes into the villa to wash the patients blackened body.

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