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Class experience in McEwan's atonement

journal contribution
posted on 25.06.2015 by Ian Fraser
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.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Critique - Studies in Contemporary Fiction

Volume

54

Issue

4

Pages

465 - 477

Citation

FRASER, I., 2013. Class experience in McEwan's atonement. Critique - Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 54 (4), pp. 465 - 477.

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis Group

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2013

Notes

This article is closed access.

ISSN

0011-1619

eISSN

1939-9138

Language

en

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