Mind Presentation in Ian McEwan's Fiction: Consciousness and the Presentation of Character in Amsterdam, Atonement, and On Chesil Beach

TitleMind Presentation in Ian McEwan's Fiction: Consciousness and the Presentation of Character in Amsterdam, Atonement, and On Chesil Beach
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsNayebpour, K
Publisheribidem Press
CityStuttgart
ISBN Number978-3-8382-6979-5
Abstract

This book explores the central fictional minds in three of Ian McEwan's most popular narratives. Mind presentation constitutes the main part of characterization in the second phase of McEwan's writing, where his plot structure depends to a large degree on the presentation of the characters' mental workings. In Amsterdam (1998), Atonement (2003), and On Chesil Beach (2007), the construction process of the fictional minds, the degree their functioning is impacted by their experiences, and the way their mental aspect controls their behavior and relationships are critical to the stories. Relying on insights and methods from cognitive narratology, this study follows two purposes: It firstly analyzes the function of fictional minds and their operational modes in these narratives. Secondly, it explores the impact of the characters' experiences on both their mental functioning and their behavior, especially with view of their relationships. Nayebpour reveals that the plot structure of these narratives highly depends on the lack of a sound balance between the two aspects of the represented minds (intermental/joint thought and intramental/individual thought) as well as on the dominance of the intramental one. The tragic atmosphere in these narratives, Nayebpour argues, is the result of this imbalance.

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