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The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology, 2021, 3(3); doi: 10.25236/FSST.2021.030312.

On the Existentialism Themes of The English Patient


Yao Jing

Corresponding Author:
Yao Jing

Institute of Marxism, Xinjiang Normal University, Urumqi (830000), China


Michael Ondaatje’s novel The English Patient is an outstanding masterpiece. Since its publication in 1992, it has been awarded many prizes including the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Award and the internationally respected Booker Prize. These awards obtain its author’s worldwide attention. The world under Ondaatje’s pen is a chaotic and irrational world. The characters he pictures discard traditional values and faith and live a nihilistic and miserable life. The story narrates that in the summer of 1945 when the Second World War was about to end, four people from different countries gathered in an Italian villa, taking with them their own etchings gained from the war. This paper, based on the theory of existentialism, studied the existentialism themes as absurdity and nihility of the world and people.


The English Patient; absurdity; existentialism; nihility

Cite This Paper

Yao Jing. On the Existentialism Themes of The English Patient. The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology (2021) Vol. 3, Issue 3: 70-73. https://doi.org/10.25236/FSST.2021.030312.


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