Sailor By Ondaatje Summary

1282 Words 6 Pages
Ondaatje’s prevalent use of the skeleton imagery symbolizes the deaths of common people. Even though the Tamils and Sinhalese may have different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, they are all human beings who are killing each other. While they may have different tenets and ideologies that make up their identities, they all share a country, they all breath the same air and they all are made up of a skeleton.
The skeleton that receives the most attention throughout the novel is Sailor; Anil searches endlessly to find his identity. Anil’s quest for the truth of his identity is characteristic of a crime fiction novel. While Ondaatje provides other elements to make his novel more complex, he follows the basic features of the crime fiction genre. The novel is typically fictional, but with a lot of research to support its contents. Ondaatje has clearly stated his novel as a work of fiction; however, it is based on true events in Sri Lanka’s history. Ondaatje himself was born in Sri Lanka (previously Ceylon) before moving to England. While he spent his adulthood in England and eventually Canada, his roots began in Sri Lanka, which may have been his inspiration for writing the novel.
A crime
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She knew herself to be a “determined creature” (67). However, she felt she was given two names that were “entirely inappropriate” (67). Therefore, she sought to have her brothers unused second name: Anil. In “Exploring Transnational Identities in Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost,” Victoria Cook points out that Anil chose her new name for herself, and therefore, “takes on a new identity” (Cook 5). Cook points out that her name and identity before Anil are never revealed: “she is unidentified and missing a name” (Cook 5). Anil’s forming her identity when placed with an appropriate name speaks volumes about her character: an identity is nothing without a

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