Modalities of representation and perception in Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost

Sigrid Renaux


This study analyses the way in which the interdependence of the representation and perception of reality is exemplified and questioned in Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost (2000). As we enter this work of resistance literature by way of an omniscient narrator, we enter not just the geographical spaces and cultural history of Sri Lanka, but find ourselves taking part in the daily struggle of the people to survive, to identify and do justice to the many dead in this conflict between ethnic groups and the government. This fragmentation of the narrative structure – casting doubt on the conflicting relationships established between the characters’ present and the past, between western and eastern values in relation to the concept of truth, the search for lost identity and love – highlights still further the interchangeability of representation and perception of reality.


Reality; Identity; Truth; Value

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