Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

From Crusoe to the English Patient, or the Transition from the Western Humanist Enlightenment Subject to the White Male Colonialist

Ana Moya Gutiérrez


The following essay reads Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient, published in 1992, against Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719). Defoe’s novel has become a classic in colonial literature, in so far as it comprises the ideological apparatus sustained by the European powers in their colonial expansion. Such ideological construct has been overtly questioned and deconstructed in post-colonial literature and Michael Ondaatje’s text is a good example of it. A contrastive analysis of these texts helps to reveal the different strategies at work in each of them and their contribution to creating an ideological construct which both reflects and intervenes in the cultural context in which each of these texts has been produced.

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