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.
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
...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
Chapter X. August