Are their any important quotes I should know from Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje? 

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, there are definitely some important quotes a reader should know and understand from Anil’s Ghost.   Considering that this is a book about a bloody civil war in Sri Lanka set in the 1980s, many of the important quotes have to do with war.  I will give you a couple of important quotes and explain them.

I wanted to find one law to cover all of living. I found fear.

In my opinion, this is the most important quotation in the book. It refers to people in Sri Lanka as a unit that is united by fear.  All people, both the soldiers and the civilians, involved in Sri Lanka’s Civil War are governed by this one feeling.  This is a war where civilians are brutally (and randomly) murdered and, of course, thousands of military members are killed.  It is the feeling of fear that binds all the people of Sri Lanka together.

For when people leave our company in our time we are never certain of seeing them again, or seeing them unaltered.

This is yet another quote about the finality of death during a great war.  The interesting word within this quote is the word “unaltered.”  This refers to either the mental health or the physical health of the person.  War, of course, can alter a person physically through death, dismemberment, or wounds.  War can also alter a person mentally through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as other severe psychological problems. 

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Anil's Ghost

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