Why do you think Ondaatje describes the villa in such detail? What feeling is he trying to evoke with this description of the setting?
The villa can be seen as a symbol for the sweep of history and how much changes with it; the villa has been a Renaissance home for the nobility, a convent, a German fort, and an Allied hospital. It endures and yet the description shows that it also has suffered great damage through its history. The description also creates a setting that is isolated from the outside world, where the characters can process what happened to them during the war while they attempt to figure out what to do next.
The story moves back and forth between the...
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