Money in "Saturday" by Ian McEwan
Camps-Robertson, Régine (2012-06), Money in "Saturday" by Ian McEwan, International Symposium "Money and Literature/ Money in Literature", 2012-06, Paris, France
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference titleInternational Symposium "Money and Literature/ Money in Literature"
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Abstract (EN)In Saturday (2006), Mc Ewan depicts two distinctive worlds seen by the hero ; the one that he inhabits with its familiar landmarks and the one that lies beyond his reach and that seems to pose a threat to the hero. The novel explores the limits that circumscribe the individual's identity through his sense of ownership. Henry Perowne seems to possess all the exterior signs of wealth and social recognition that should shelter him from insecurity. Yet, within the space of one single day, some events in his private life as well as in the city of London combine to set his life onto an unexpected course at ever increasing speed. His grip on existence seems to suddenly be questioned as he has to face the consequences of his accidental and violent encounter with another man who lacks the privileges of a wealthy background and the freedom to enjoy a rich life. This paper will study the opposition between possession and dispossession as money and all the attributes that money brings play a symbolic part in the protagonist's reassessment of his own place in life. But money has also a structural role to play in the carefully orchestrated events, in the correspondences between characters and in the narrative process. Finally, the reader's response is being put through the test of maintaining a disturbing choice of perspective – both diegetic and moral – through the eyes of the protagonist who remains the one who is rich, in several senses of the word.
Subjects / Keywordsownership; identity
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