The essay "Paintings and allusions in English Patients" explores The English Patient, a recipient of the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Award, written by a Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist, Michael Ondaatji. The reference comes to light when Kip surveys the chapel with his rifle telescope, “reached the great face and was stilled by it, the face like a spear, wise, unforgiving. (77)”. When Kip asks a fellow soldier about the true identity of the face, he learns that it is indeed the “great face” of Isaiah. The painting is a clear depicting of the catastrophic prophecies of Isaiah with regards to the Satanic bombing of Japan. The novel thus challenges the apocalypse (the nuclear bombing) by highlighting a community oriented eschatological society (through the means of Kip). The Queen of Sheeba, also known as “queen of the south” in the Hebrew bible, is in reality from a South African origin, which apart from other things, talks of king Solomon. In the book, The English Patient, her chastity is symbolized by the statue of Virgin Mary. In the passage from Isaiah 60:0; “And they from Sheeba shall come; they shall bring forth gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the lord.” This is a clear indication that Sheeba is indeed a provider of wealth and a friendly giver. Out here, the chastity of Kip was given a tight joust when catastrophe struck on Japan in the form of an atomic bomb. David and Goliath is a painting by Master Caravaggio, who happened to be an Italian Baroque master.
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The essay concerns The English Patient, a recipient of the Man Booker Prize and the Governor General’s Award, written by a Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist, Michael Ondaatji. The story is based on the lives of four individuals which are slowly revealed by the protagonist…
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