The English Patient


Michael Ondaatje

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Fenelon-Barnes Character Analysis

A European desert explorer whom the English patient meets in 1931. In Fenelon-Barnes’s tent in the North African desert, the English patient notices a lump in the man’s bed reflected in the tent’s mirror. He pulls back the covers and, expecting a dog, finds a young Arab girl tied to the bed. Fenelon-Barnes’s implied sexual abuse of this girl represents the oppression and abuse frequently suffered by indigenous people at the hands of white European colonists.
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Fenelon-Barnes Character Timeline in The English Patient

The timeline below shows where the character Fenelon-Barnes appears in The English Patient. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter IV. South Cairo 1930-1938
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
In 1931, the English patient met another explorer, Fenelon-Barnes, on a journey into the desert. One day, the English patient went to Fenelon-Barnes’s tent,... (full context)