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Title: The tyranny of storytelling : the function of the storyteller in Ian McEwan's novels
Authors: Borg, Martina
Keywords: McEwan, Ian -- Criticism and interpretation
Self-deception in literature
Postmodernism (Literature)
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: In this thesis I have tried to identify the characteristics of self-deception and storytelling in McEwan's later fiction. Although the early fiction presents the reader with psychologically convincing characters, characterization in the later novels becomes much more complicated and noteworthy. All the characters in his later fiction are greatly diverse, but there seems to be a connecting vein throughout these novels: somehow or another, the later characters blur the boundaries between reality and fiction. McEwan is particularly interested in the figure of the storyteller, and in fact, this becomes the main concern of several of the later novels. The first chapter investigates the depiction of this character in the novel Atonement. The second chapter goes on to prove, however, that self-deception and the confusion of the real and the fictitious, are not prerogatives of the storyteller. In fact, the novel I analysed in this chapter, On Chesil Beach, is altogether unrelated to storytelling, but the characters in the novel constantly lose sight of reality. In the third chapter I outlined McEwan's depiction of self-deception in the rest of the later novels, and I also investigated the connections between these novels. This chapter also tried to investigate McEwan's development into a more self-consciously postmodern writer, and the way in which he makes use of postmodern techniques to suit his stories. Self-deception, I have tried to suggest, is a necessary and natural part of contemporary society: people seem to be incapable of facing reality without even a tinge of the fictitious nowadays. McEwan's acknowledges this and tries to represent this somewhat uncomfortable reality by means of literary masterpieces which, apart from deserving critical praise, are incredible page-turners.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2013
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2013

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