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Ian Mc Ewan's Characters Essay

1815 words - 8 pages

After reading and analyzing two of Ian McEwan’s literary works, “Saturday” and “Solar”, you can tell that McEwan frequently writes about characters who lead successful lives. Although the characters in the two books are successful in the sense of profession, and money, it appears as if they both have troubled personal lives. I think that Ian McEwan might not have such an exciting and interesting personal life, so he enjoys writing about characters that do. McEwan’s use of characterization makes it clear that these characters, for the most part, are satisfied with their professional achievements, and are actually quite confident in their abilities to use the knowledge they’ve acquired over ...view middle of the document...

Perowne is not injured, and through his extensive knowledge of neurological diseases and disorders, he recognizes that Baxter has Huntington’s disease. Skipping ahead in the book, Perowne is visiting his mother at a nursing home, she suffers from dementia. Although it is never mentioned in the book, dementia is a symptom of Huntington’s Disease, so it can be assumed that the reason he diagnosed Baxter with it so easily was because he has either thought, or confirmed that his mother suffers from the same disorder. Back at the car accident, Henry begins to discuss his research on Huntington’s Disease with still enraged Baxter to avert his attention away from the car accident. After Henry gets to, and finishes his squash match he is able to continue on with his day which consists of visiting his mother and his son. The rest of his night is, more or less, an average Saturday night with the family, until Baxter breaks into his house during dinner. Baxter and another man brought weapons in, still angered about the accident earlier when Henry refused to give him money in reparation for the damages, threatens the Perowne family. Baxter goes on to force Henry’s daughter to strip naked (which is when the Perowne family finds out about her pregnancy), and recite a poem. The poem gets to Baxter, emotionally, which is followed up by more talk of research on Huntington’s Disease. At this point, Baxter’s accomplice has left him, and Henry and his father-in-law are easily able to subdue him and make him go unconscious. Henry Perowne, shortly after, is called in to the hospital that he works at to perform an emergency surgery on Baxter, essentially saving his life.
The second of McEwan’s books that I read, Solar, is also based on a very successful man in Great Britain although it’s on a drastically different time scale. The protagonist, Michael Beard is a physicist who mainly studies the effects of global warming, and the book covers three brief periods of his life, all about 5 years apart. Similar to Henry Perowne, he is living a troubled personal life, having been married 5 times and had affairs during them all. Initially he is heading a research project that he doesn’t think is going to go very far, and he isn’t actually doing much work for it. Beard is essentially the Queen of England of this research center. Around the time that this is going on, he takes a trip to the Arctic, to get his mind off of his failing marriage and get some research done. When he returns he finds his wife with one of his co-workers, who he gets killed and frames someone else, who ironically, was also with his wife at the time. Skipping ahead 5 years, Beard is now using the research that he inherited when he got the man killed as his own. No longer working at the doomed-to-fail research center, he is able to make plans for his own projects, a photosynthesis plant. Beard has a new girlfriend at this point, who’s dying to have a child, so she tricks him into getting her pregnant....

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