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Deprivation of Closure in McEwan's Atonement: Unreliability and Metafiction as Underlying Causes
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Language and Literature.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this bachelor’s thesis is to discuss, and attempt to confirm, that Ian McEwan’s Atonement (2001) lacks closure. Since the novel has an unreliable narrator who offers her readers several credible endings to her narrative, and who also acts as the fictitious author of the story, unreliability and metafiction are claimed to be the main underlying causes of this deprivation of closure. The discussion in the first section of the analysis is based on the plot development depicted in Gustav Freytag’s Pyramid, and the second part is focused on Victoria Orlowski’s four metafictional characteristics denoting ways in which writers of metafiction transgress narrative levels. The claim is concluded to be partly fulfilled, since Atonement is regarded as lacking closure in terms of narrative structure but not in a philosophical and moral sense.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 31 p.
Keyword [en]
McEwan, closure, unreliable narrator, metafiction
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-16866OAI: diva2:479315
Subject / course
Educational program
International Administration Programme with foreign language, 180 credits
2012-01-13, 16:03 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-01-17 Last updated: 2012-02-07Bibliographically approved

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Sjöberg, Rebecka
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