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Class experience in McEwan's atonement
journal contributionposted on 25.06.2015 by Ian Fraser
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Ian McEwan's critically acclaimed novel Atonement has attracted a number of different interpretations across many themes. However, there has been little attention paid to the issue of class in this work. I seek to rectify this lacuna by offering an examination of the novel utilizing the understanding of class developed by E. P. Thompson. Thompson understands class as a historical relationship that is developed over time and is associated with core concepts such as class experience, class consciousness, class struggle, class hegemony, and fetishism. I use these categories to examine the main characters such as Robbie, Cecilia, and Paul Marshall to illuminate and enhance our understanding of the class contradictions present in the novel. This not only demonstrates the richness of Thompson's framework but also the quality of McEwan's own writing on what he sees as the important issue of class. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
- Social Sciences
- Politics and International Studies