Storytelling and the Concept of the "Self</I> in Ian McEwan’s "The Child in Time, Black Dogs, Enduring Love</I>, and "Atonement</I>
5. AT THE CROSSROADS: THE IMPACT OF THE SINGULAR ON THE CONCEPT OF THE SELF 71
5. At the Crossroads: The Impact of the Singular on the Concept of the Self 5.1 Dealing with Epistemological Crises: Redescriptions and New Horizons In chapter four we analysed The Ch ld in Time, Black Dogs, Enduring Love, and Atonement with reference to the explanatory patterns, paradigms of knowledge or stories of the self provided by literature, science, and religion. We found that even though the characters' perspectives on the world differ - ranging from the denial of intrinsic structures of meaning to the unquestioned affirmation of the fundamental meaningfulness of the universe - McEwan's protagonists equal one another in their efforts to structure the world according to some explanatory pattern which for them is ranked incomparably higher than all other explanatory patterns on offer. Even sceptics like Bernard and Joe hold fast to the notion of the ultimate explicability of the world and are loath to step outside their clearly demarcated rationalist framework of belief. As McEwan aptly observes, believing in something is "an enduring quality of being human — perhaps even written into our natures. No amount of science or logic will shift it. We are all magical thinkers one way or another."278 As we have seen in our discussion of identity and orientation in chapter three, believing in something, taking an individual standpoint, a perspective, in moral space, is inextricably linked to our sense of undamaged, consistent selfhood. In fact, Taylor points out, [t]o know who you are is to be oriented in moral space, a...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.