Chapter 1
Families against the World:
Ian McEwan

Written in response to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York respectively, Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs (1992) and Saturday (2005) both aim to capture the sensibility of a newly emergent Anglo-British contemporaneity. Read in combination, they disclose the bipolar bracketing of the 1990s by one joyous and one profoundly traumatic world event, a bracketing compounded by Britain’s sandwiched position, both culturally and politically, between Europe and the USA. Transporting us from middle-English Wiltshire to contemporary and historical Germany, Poland and France, Black Dogs sets out to explore what is fundamentally a European sense of belonging. Yet notably it remains preoccupied with the continent’s dark mid-century past rather than its post-1989 moment of euphoric reunification. Fashioned ultimately, after its main protagonist’s name, into a jeremiad of political resignation, the novel accentuates the individual’s as well as the family’s vulnerability and helplessness in the face of world events.

Saturday, by contrast, follows the life of successful London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne on 15 February 2003, a day of worldwide rallying against the impending Iraq War. The novel culminates in the triumph of individual and familial agency over criminally deranged adversity. Its central conflict between the Perownes and petty gangster Baxter, a sufferer from Huntington’s Chorea, mirrors the conflict between US America’s Coalition of the Willing and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. McEwan’s markedly tentative, self-conscious and circuitous mode of narration in Black Dogs is superseded by the perfectly linear, neatly emplotted trajectory of Saturday which, solidly anchored in the English literary tradition, invokes both the day-in-alife structure of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925) and the resolutely vertebrate five-act composition of a Shakespearean history play.

-37-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Cosmopolitan Novel
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 200

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.