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The English Patient (3) & The Sweet Hereafter. Trauma and the Communities “ beyond ” the Boundaries. The English Patient Plot Summary and Questions EP ’ s re-interpretations nomads vs. nations ; Kip ’ s Changes ; Hana ’ s Homecoming . The Sweet Hereafter Starting Questions

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the english patient 3 the sweet hereafter

The English Patient (3) & The Sweet Hereafter

Trauma and the Communities “beyond” the Boundaries

The English Patient

Plot Summary and Questions

EP’s re-interpretations

nomads vs. nations;

Kip’s Changes;

Hana’s Homecoming.

The Sweet Hereafter

Starting Questions

Pied Piper

Different Parents and Difficulties in Communication

The role of the Lawyer;

Wild Nature vs. Enclosed Space

The Sweet Hereafter

plot summary
Plot Summary
  • Chap VI: the Buried Plane -- Caravaggio’s intrusion into the EP’s storytelling--the ending of 1942 told the first time. (p. 175)
  • Chap VII: In Situ (meaning: in the natural or original position or place 1940) -- Kip’s story of being trained as a sapper; Kip vs. his brother; Erith, where Lord Suffolk die;
plot summary1
Plot Summary
  • Chap VIII: The Holy Forest: Kip’s experience; Kip and Hana (217 - ).
  • Chap IX: The Cave of Swimmers -- EP’s story of love re-told to Caravaggio (with two endings/interpretations of the ending)
  • Chap X: August --the endings: birthday party; Hana and Kip’s communication; Kip’s experience of defusing bombs in Naples, Kip’s sudden departure, Hana’s homecoming.
  • How are the EP’s views of his love for Katherine and the latter’s death changed over time? How does he “heal” himself?
  • Besides being used by the nations, and physically and emotionally traumatized by the war, how are these “international bastards” influenced by national boundaries?
  • What do you think about Kip’s radical response to the nuclear bomb? How is Hana’s homecoming different from Kip’s?
  • Are there connections among the three remaining characters?
ep s re interpretations of their relationships
EP’s re-interpretations of their Relationships
  • Chap IX – a lot clearer than the previous account; “Death means you are in the third person”; re-ordering events (247-48)
  • Their relationships:
    • Reasons for their mutual attraction the story of Candaules pp. 232 -
    • conflicts -- e.g. p. 238;
ep s re interpretations of katherine s death
EP’s re-interpretations of Katherine’s death
  • 1. 1939 -- Put paints on her body 248
  • 2. Alternating between self-questioning and broader views of time, desert space and life and death.
    • Self-questioning-- curse pp. 257; demon-lover 260
    • Every person a gift in life; 257
    • “jackal” and “historian” 258-57;
    • One’s own body as a communal book 261
nation vs international bastards
Nation vs. International Bastards
  • [Madox – died because of nations 243;
  • EP –“wrong name” 251
  • Caravaggio and EP – thief as a spy vs. intellectual turned into a vacuum. 253-55;
  • Kip: marked (199) but invisible (196);
kip s changes
Kip’s changes
  • Before the news of the nuclear bomb:
    • agile, moves in relation to things 218-19;
    • danger and peace: always concentrated on defusing bombs and admiring the statues and paintings in churches; e.g. 273; 278-79
    • Mutual support and communication between him and Hana 270
kip s changes1
Kip’s changes
  • After the news of the nuclear bombs in Japan:
    • 283 –refusing EP;
    • Brown races vs. Englishman 2886;
    • Traveling against the direction of invasion 290; 295
hana s homecoming
Hana’s Homecoming
  • The letter she writes to Clara
    • her ability to connect and to face her father’s death;
    • her vision of “home” and “mother”: confirms their plainness and independence.
connections in the endings
Connections in the Endings
  • Caravaggio – remembers Kip 208;
  • EP – imagines Kip’s presence 298;
  • Kip and Hana –lose contact after he does not respond for a year;
  • Kip – still sees and thinks of Hana 300;
  • Hana – the author still leaves space for her independence;
  • The final connection –or lack of connection?
the sweet hereafter
The Sweet Hereafter
  • By Atom Egoyan;
  • Adapted from the namesake novel by Russel Banks, who likes Egoyan’s adaptation a lot. (e.g. the addition of “The Pied Piper.”)
  • A film about the effects of deaths and losses. In the film, the children are all “dead” to their parents.
  • For some critics, it is typical of Canadian films to not see death as an ending or a heroic closure, but as a process or an absent presence in life.
  • What’s the significance of “The Pied Piper”? What do the opening and ending images and the title of the film mean?
  • How many “fathers” or parents are there in the film? How do they each relate to their children?
  • What does Stephens try to do as a lawyer for the victims’ families? Is he justified to do so?
  • Why does Nicole lie in testifying? Whose fault is the car accident?
the pied piper
“The Pied Piper”
  • The adults’ betrayal;
  • Children’s being lead an adult by the piper to a beautiful land with no return;
  • One lame child stays behind.
  • Possible contemporary allusions (in Middle Ages): black death; children’s crusade
the pied piper the film s adaptation
“The Pied Piper”–The film’s adaptation

not an allegory

    • The adults, not breaking promises, but mostly unhappy;
  • The pied piper in the film – not a revengeful figure, but one that (wants to) leads a group/a child.
    • Death,
    • Mr. Stephens,
    • Sam
    • Dolores? Billy, follows but not leading.
the powerless dolores
The Powerless: Dolores
  • With an invalid husband;
  • A loving person, her love for the kids shown on the photos she put on her wall;
  • sees picking up the kids as picking up red berries to put in her basket.
the powerless and troubled parents
The Powerless and Troubled Parents
  • Billy – finding refuge in adultery, when actually he is obsessed by the past.
  • Risa and Wendell – Risa, does not know how to deal with her son; the two always fighting
stephens and zoe
Stephens and Zoe
  • Happy family life in Zoe’s childhood: dangers lurking underneath the happy surface
stephens and zoe1
Stephens and Zoe
  • distance between them, after many many disappointments which turns sadness into “steaming piss.”
stephens and zoe2
Stephens and Zoe

final communication:

Still filled with tension

but ending with their

sharing of fear.

stephens as a lawyer
Stephens as a lawyer
  • believes that there is a reason for everything; transfer his grief onto the victims.
the role of snowy landscape
The Role of Snowy Landscape
  • a contrast to the enclosed spaces of the car, the hotel room, the school bus and the airplane.
the role of snowy landscape1
The Role of Snowy Landscape
  • Smallness of human beings
the sweet hereafter2
The Sweet Hereafter
  • a space of sobriety and maturity after the experience of traumas.

And everything is strange and new. . .