Analysis Of Ondaatje's Running In The Family

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Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, a fictionalized memoir, seeks to accurately present his adaptation to life in an unfamiliar country through its disjointed and illogical nature of the structure, allowing the reader to truly comprehend his perspective. Ondaatje’s identity is represented by his unique desire to present his memories in irrational and imaginary themes, and his argue to represent the natural characteristics of his ancestors.

The memoir represents glimpses of the author’s family history. Ondaatje aims to transform the reader from the rigid realm of factual certainty to the realm of subjective and imaginative perception. He intends to capture the reader within his own thoughts and ideas; and forces the reader to look at truth from
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Following a non-linear structure, he divides the memoir through dialogues, notebooks, poetry, narratives, photographs, and maps; And when the text is viewed as a whole the form serves the function of creating an understanding of the narrative and developing all aspects of the text. Ondaatje encourages the reader to not question “what actually happened” but rather question the method by which the author thought it happened. The author’s perception and thought are the main construction of his character; therefore, it is the core of the author’s identity. His style is similar to the style of an impressionist painter, who tries to capture a single moment of an image at a specific place, and in a specific moment. Then, presents it to the observer, in the exact manner it was captured. Ondaatje tries to direct the reader to what he (Ondaatje) sees and thinks; regardless, of amount of reality, his perception holds. Unlike the historian, who aims to present his observations in an absolute factual manner, Ondaatje is offering a larger vision based not exclusively on what we see and understand, but also on what we want …show more content…
Ondaatje’s novel is told from the first-person perspective of a character named “Michael Ondaatje.” There are various ways in which his narrative style is self-conscious. Much of the narrative assumes a personal tone, but at times the first-person narrator seems to be distancing himself from events through sarcasm and humor, even suddenly referring to himself in the third person (e.g. pages 17 & 189). Additionally, Ondaatje consistently reminds the reader that they are reading his creation by mentioning the writing process and by using other meta- linguistic techniques (see especially page 189 as an example). Micheal writes about the events that take place in order of importance to him. The events aren’t always in chronological order because most of the important events are told towards the end of the memoir. The opening chapter speaks about how the alcohol induced events that made Micheal realize that he needed to go back to Sri Lanka. Alcohol affected a lot of things in his family so this event is ironic. The structure is planned out in the realizations that Micheal comes to. The rising actions gives background information that alters the way the readers interpret the text. Micheal is questioning the knowledge about his father throughout the entire text. He questions who he himself is and who his father is as he is given disjointed information. The major shift occurred at the end of the text as

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