The English Patient


Michael Ondaatje

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Kip’s Brother Character Analysis

According to Indian tradition, Kip’s older brother is supposed to join the army, but he adamantly refuses to agree to anything that gives the English power over him. Kip’s brother is thrown into prison for his resistance, and he begs Kip not to trust the Europeans. He claims that Kip will someday open his eyes to the oppression of Asia by the Western world, and Kip indeed understand this after atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

Kip’s Brother Quotes in The English Patient

The The English Patient quotes below are all either spoken by Kip’s Brother or refer to Kip’s Brother. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The English Patient published in 1993.
Chapter X Quotes

I grew up with traditions from my country, but later, more often, from your country. Your fragile white island that with customs and manners and books and prefects and reason somehow converted the rest of the world. You stood for precise behaviour. I knew if I lifted a teacup with the wrong finger I’d be banished. If I tied the wrong kind of knot in a tie I was out. Was it just ships that gave you such power? Was it, as my brother said, because you had the histories and printing presses?

Page Number: 283
Explanation and Analysis:

My brother told me. Never turn your back on Europe. The deal makers. The contract makers. The map drawers. Never trust Europeans, he said. Never shake hands with them. But we, oh, we were easily impressed— by speeches and medals and your ceremonies. What have I been doing these last few years? Cutting away, defusing, limbs of evil. For what? For this to happen?

Related Symbols: Bombs
Page Number: 284-5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Kip’s Brother Character Timeline in The English Patient

The timeline below shows where the character Kip’s Brother appears in The English Patient. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter VII. In Situ
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
...his family, it was always expected that Kip would become a doctor and his older brother would join the army, but the war changed all that. Kip joined a Sikh regiment... (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
Kip tells Hana about his older brother, who refused to fight in the war. “He refused to agree to any situation where... (full context)
Chapter VIII. The Holy Forest
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
As Kip’s hair dries, he again tells Hana about his brother, who refused to fight with the British. Kip’s brother said that Kip will one day... (full context)
Chapter X. August
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
Kip says that his brother told him not to trust Europeans. They are the “deal makers,” the “contract makers,” the... (full context)