The English Patient

by

Michael Ondaatje

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The English Patient can help.

Patrick Character Analysis

Hana’s father, Clara’s husband, and a long-time friend of Caravaggio. Patrick and his family are Canadian, and he enlists in the Canadian Army to fight in World War II. Patrick dies alone and badly burned in a dove-cot in France, far away from Hana. Not long after Patrick’s death, Hana meets the English patient, who is also badly burned. Hana comes to terms with Patrick’s death through her care of the English patient, and she finds comfort in the fact that Patrick died in a dove-cot, a “sacred place” much like a church. Patrick’s death in the dove-cot reflects Ondaatje’s claim that the post-war world offers possibilities for new forms of religious practice that are humbler and less structured, but that nevertheless offer meaningful and profound connections to God.
Get the entire The English Patient LitChart as a printable PDF.
The English Patient PDF

Patrick Character Timeline in The English Patient

The timeline below shows where the character Patrick appears in The English Patient. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter II. In Near Ruins
Love Theme Icon
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
...the East,” and it wounds his “vanity.” Caravaggio had known both Hana and her father, Patrick, when Caravaggio was a thief in Toronto before the war. Now they are both in... (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
...broken when the war official handed her the letter that notified her of her father, Patrick’s, death. (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
Hana met the English patient not long after Patrick’s death. At that time, most of the North American troops were being sent home, and... (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
...tennis shoes, unlike Caravaggio, who has made a career stealing from others. Caravaggio had been Patrick’s friend before the war, and Hana has fond childhood memories of him. She isn’t sure... (full context)
Chapter III. Sometime a Fire
War and Nationality Theme Icon
Patrick must have died not long after the baby, Caravaggio says to Hana. Yes, she says,... (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
History, Words, and Storytelling Theme Icon
God and Religion  Theme Icon
As Hana leaves the room, she thinks about Patrick. She wonders what his death was like. Did he struggle? Was he alone? Her father... (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
...says, taking Hana in his arms. Hana is a caught off guard. “Dear worm” was Patrick’s pet name for her. The English patient decides to have some wine, and Kip pours... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
God and Religion  Theme Icon
...she is in love with his teeth. She suggests they ask Caravaggio what love is. Patrick had always said that Caravaggio was a man in love. She is sure Caravaggio can... (full context)
Chapter X. August
Love Theme Icon
...story for her birthday, but Hana doesn’t want to hear it if it is about Patrick. He says it is only about Patrick at little bit but is mostly about her.... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
...wants Kip to know her as she is now. Hana has already told him about Patrick and Clara, and for her, this is enough. Caravaggio begins to tell a story about... (full context)
War and Nationality Theme Icon
British Colonialism and Racism Theme Icon
...we can rationalize this,” Hana tells Clara, “we can rationalize anything.” Hana tells her that Patrick died in a dove-cot in France, which is a large house built just for doves.... (full context)