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Volume 1 Issue 11

April 2015

Identity as a Skein of Memory, History and Violence in Micheal Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost
Ms. Swetha Antony, 
Assistant Professor, 
Department of English, Faculty of Arts, 
University of Delhi, 
New Delhi, Delhi, India
What if an individual is always in transit, haunted by the ghost called past, becoming an abode of identities created by memories and histories? This is a pertinent question when narratives created by war, colored with aspects of alienation, rootlessness and estrangement, are taken into account. Through the novel Anil’s Ghost set mostly in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje tries to articulate the ambivalence in the life of an individual who is torn between two cultures, two languages, two lands and who tries to gain a sense of closure in its midst. The narrative revolves around Anil’s search for the identity of ‘Sailor’- a skeleton she unearths - a powerful metaphor for the search for her self and her roots. This novel about voices and silences dovetails into its narrative issues such as home and homeland, identity and its relation to displacement, rootlessness, history, memory, and myths. This paper looks into these factors that mark the identity of a diasporic individual and engages with the question whether it is possible to attain closure and if yes at what cost.
Identity; Ambivalence; Displacement; Immigrant; Search for Roots.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.