The English Patient Questions and Answers
by Michael Ondaatje

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How can I compare and contrast the characters of Hana the Canadian nurse and Katharine Clifton from the novel, The English Patient

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Katharine is on her honeymoon when she meets and starts her affair with Almasy. She loves the desert, perhaps feeling it is an exotic setting where she can have an illicit love affair, defying what is proper and improper. She is the one who initiates the affair which is often violent. She breaks it off because she feels guilty and can't take the pressure of trying to keep it hidden from her husband. Her husband, Geoffrey, is an Englishman of high social standing. He's good-natured and worships his wife, bragging on her beauty to everyone. We later learn that Geoffrey is a spy for the English government sent to watch the group of desert explorers.

What does this say about Katharine? The fact that Geoffrey worships her may be too much for her to take. She doesn't wish to be a "trophy wife", so when she meets Almasy, he represents the opposite of her husband. Almasy insists that their affair does not mean that he wants a committed relationship, even though the opposite is true. He doesn't...

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