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Diction of Anil's Ghost

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Katie Law

on 29 September 2014

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Transcript of Diction of Anil's Ghost

Michael Ondaatje's Diction in Anil's Ghost
The Grove of Ascetics
A Brother
The Mouse (209-231)
Between Heartbeats
Sympathetic and Loathsome
The Life Wheel (269-295)
Optimistic and Desolate
adjective; serious, formal and dignified
Sarath's younger brother
Life at home with Ravina
Life as a physician in Colombo
Connection with Anil
Name change
Failed previous marriage
Relationship/Similarities with Gamini
Very little humour
Anil & Gamini's conversations are humourous
Humour contradicted by Sarath's hostility
No "happy" parts, very formal and serious
Makes reader feel informed, serious, no positive or negative emotions, very
What makes
A Brother
Examples of
Diction in
A Brother
"He remembered the books, the four essential medical texts and the stories he never finished reading though he kept them in his hands for hours as he sat in the cane chair trying to rest, trying to come down to some kind of human order, but instead only darkness came down on him in the room,
his eyes peering at the pages while his brain stared past them to the truth of their times
." (128)
"Lovers who read stories or look at paintings about love do so
supposedly for clarity
. But the more confusing and anarchic the story, the
more those caught in love will believe it
. There are only a few great and trustworthy love drawings. And in there works is an aspect that continues to remain unordered and private, no matter how famous they become.
They bring no sanity, give just a blue, tormented light
." (150)
no real emotion
very solemn
professional and formal
deep thought however no emotional triggers
emotional topic, solemn diction
makes the reader think
formal and proper format
adjective; causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow
What makes
eye painter
reconstructing Sailor's face
family history
Sirissa's murder
suicide attempt
Little to no humour
All focused on tragedies in Ananda's past & current life
Triggers negative emotion from reader
Makes reader feel
towards Ananda
Makes reader feel
Examples of
Diction in
"She rubbed the
blood on her hands
onto her sarong and placed the spectacles on his face. Suddenly, in spite of his wound, in spite of the
knife still in his right hand, still a threat
, he seemed to be back with her, among the living. She felt she could speak in any language, he would understand the purpose of any gesture. How far back was their
moment of connection, when his hand had been on her shoulder
? Just a few hours earlier. She put the amulet in his left hand but he
could not or would not hold it
. He was drifting back into unconsciousness or sleep." (197)
"She is about ten yards from the bridge when she sees
the heads of the two students on stakes
, on either side of the bridge, facing each other. Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen years old... she doesn't know or care. She sees
two more heads on the far side of the bridge and can tell even from here she recognizes one of them
. She would shrink down into herself, go back, but she cannot. She feels
something is behind her, whatever is the cause of this
She begins running forward, past their eyes, her own shut dark until she is past them. Up the hill towards the school. She keeps running forward, and then
she sees more
" (174-175)
at the time of Ananda's suicide attempt
change from personal and loving connection to tragic suicidal thoughts/actions
Ananda no longer wants to live, after all the tragedy he has faced
Sirissa's murder
tragic realization of what's happening
no positive emotions, all negative and sad
not directly stating that a tragedy occurs, however it is implied
an atmosphere of strangeness or secrecy that makes it very difficult or sometimes even impossible to understand, explain, or identify.
How is
The Life Wheel
situation with identifying Sailor
Anil and Sarath’s work
ex: “
Sarath felt that they should still be careful
, have more evidence…” (269).
ex: “‘You’re speaking on a cellphone.
Don’t say my name
the lecture - Sarath interrogates Anil
ex: “‘The skeleton I could have proved something with has been confiscated’... ‘Confiscated. Confiscated… Who confiscated it?’, Sarath said. ‘It was taken while I met Mr. Perera in Kynsey Road Hospital. It was lost there.’
‘So you lost it, then. It was not confiscated’
Sarath's death
ex: "
Gamini didn't know how long he stood there
. There were seven bodies in the room. He could see the acid burn, the twisted leg... [h]e could heal his brother, set the left leg, deal with every wound as if he were alive ,
as if treating the hundred small traumas would eventually bring him back to life
Diction in
The Life Wheel
triggers emotion; makes the reader feel similiar to the characters
in danger
formal diction
mysterious in his wording and explanations
readers are forced to think
confuses readers
never really explains everything
lacks in detail
deficient, insufficient, defective
lacking some element or characteristic
What makes
The Mouse
Gamini's life after his failed marriage
Gamini's love for Ravina, Sarath's wife
Sarath and Gamini's childhood
Gamini's unknown belonging
ex: "Gamini would always
remain in spirit
the younger,
unable to catch up
, nicknamed
'Meeya'. The Mouse
Gamini compared to his brother
ex: "And Sarath, for his parents, was
the boy who walked the heavens
How this effected Gamini
ex: "Still, he
remained invisible
, even to himself,
seldom looking
“In the coldness of the world, halfway up, it seemed that only the fires below connected him to the earth. Then, looking into the dark, he could see the dawn prizing itself up out of the horizon, emerging above the forest”(305).
hopeful and confident about the future. Seeing the positive of situations

A feeling of loneliness or emptiness
-to describe a subject
that gives one information
about the specific subject.
What makes Sarath informative?
Diction in
The Mouse

triggers emotion
pity for Gamini
objection towards Gamini and
Sarath's parents
rich in detail
helps the reader understand characters Gamini and Sarath
-Anil is visiting her home country of Sir Lanka after 15 years away
-Anil is a forensic pathologist
-Anil was hired by a humans rights organization to investigate the government and there part in the civil war
-4 skeletons are found by Anil and Sarath: tinker, tailor, solider, sailor
-Sailors body was buried twice according to Anil
-Sarath's wife, Raviona committed suicide
-Anil changed her name when she was a child
“Anil sidled up and, as Chitra spoke, did a quick edit, adding adjectives, improving her request for funds. Chitra’s blunt description of her project would have not gone far. Anil gave it the necessary drama and turned Chitra’s list of abilities into a more suggestive curriculum vitae” (71).

-Extremely articulate writing
-Word choice is accurate and descriptive
“They drove on and within an hour they were at the entrance of the forest. They left the car and walked for twenty minutes along a path that snaked… There was a girl sifting rice, and Sarath went towards her and spoke with her.The girl boiled water over for tea over a twig fire and the three of them sat on a bench and drank it”(85).

-Changing the readers perception
-Making the reader feel like they're involved
“They had brought him nine-month-old twins, each shot in the palms and one bullet each in their right legs… You thought what did they do to deserve this, and then, What did they do to survive this? Their wounds in reality quite minor. Stayed with him. It was the formal evil of the act perhaps, he didn’t know”(242).
“They talked and listened to each other. She loved Anil and she knew Anil lover her. Sister and Sister. But Leaf was ill. It would get worse”(256).
caring, understanding

repulsive, revolting qualities causing a feeling of immense dislike
“As an artificer now he did not celebrate the greatness of a faith. But he knew if he did not remain an artificer he would become a demon. The war around him was to do with demons, spectres of retaliation”(304).
-Remote, faraway from places and people, sometimes lonely
What makes The Grove Ascetics isolated?
-Palipana being blind
-Palipana living in a monastery with only his niece
-living in tents
-cooking over fires
-Palipana being all alone but still able to be happy
"He escaped the world and the world came after him. He was seventy when he was killed by someone, perhaps someone from the time when he was breaking free- for that is the difficult stage, when you leave the world. I am the last of my siblings. For my sister too is dead. Thus is her daughter(103)."

-Leaving something out
-Engaging the reader
-Making the reader evoke emotion
"She could read sailors last actions by knowing the wounds on the bone. He puts his arms up over his face to protect himself from the blow. He was shot with a rifle, but the bullet going through his arm, then into the neck. While he's on the ground, they come up and kill him. Coup de grace. The smallest, cheapest bullet. A .22's path the her ball point pen could slide through. Then they attempt to set fire to him and began to dig his grave in this burning light" (65).

-Mysterious writing style
-Lack of detail
-Making the reader think
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