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Discuss and compare ways in which relationships between members of different races are presented in The English Patient and at least one other post-colonial text

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Introduction

Discuss and compare ways in which relationships between members of different races are presented in The English Patient and at least one other post-colonial text Kirpal Singh is an Indian; this immediately puts him apart from others in the war. He comes to England and is exposed to the English culture. Instead of adopting his brother's hostile attitude to it, he embraces it fully. Lord Suffolk who teaches him about and welcomes him into the culture quickens this acceptance. Suffolk is the height of the stereotypical eccentric English gentlemen and is therefore a very helpful representative of the country. Far from creating a gap between him and others he adopts the culture; and begins to cherish its ways, almost to the extent of neglecting his own. The ironic example of this is Caravaggio's annoyance at Kip's "continuous humming of Western songs". The quote, however, is open to interpretation about Caravaggio and his willingness to accept foreigners. It is possible he is annoyed at Kip singing songs that aren't from his culture. It seems entirely illogical for Kip to experience racism from the English as he is fighting for them. The relationship between Lord Suffolk and Kip is friendly. ...read more.

Middle

With Hana, he is able to create an illusion, which leads her to think him English for most of the book. He isn't defined by any race or identity. I think part of his mystique as a character is the inability to categorise him as a certain race. Hana shows she thinks race is important by imprinting on him the identity of an English war hero. Hana involves herself in a relationship with Kip. He is a "private" figure; their intimacy is not based on sex. I think it is more a comfort zone. They are both in the same situation with little options both wanting to fulfil their duties. I think their love is an inartificial one because of this. They understand each other's thoughts. This is important in a relationship and in this situation gives them the power to empathise with each other. Hana treats his customs with the up most respect, his choice to sleep in a tent outside is part of these. Hana begins to see this as a shelter where she can escape the demands of Almasy and experience the tranquillity of nature along with the security of human touch. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Whites' approach led by Smith is in contrast to Mr Brown's efforts to maintain peace between the two races. Smith's attitude is typical of a conquering empire's. Convinced of their own righteousness and with no thought as to their methods and their consequences on the suffering nation. When Mr Brown was in power there was a mutual respect for each other's beliefs despite each privately criticising the other. The relationship between races is still a very relevant topic. It seems almost universally true that religion is a bad thing when it is imposed on others. Kip, a Sikh, seeks at no point to convert anyone to his religion. Christianity does and the consequences are seen. To many it seems race is of no issue. Almasy is against the idea of national identity and race; seeing it as an objective standpoint based on the country's wishes rather than an individual's decision. Despite his efforts to erase his race he finds it impossible. His real identity is fully known by the end of the book. In 'The English Patient' the scene is set by the world war, which itself is dictated by nations and races. It seems the characters who benefit most regard race as of little importance. ...read more.

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