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Fiction and Truth - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Fiction and Truth Ian McEwen is a well-known author having written several novels. One notable work from his collection is the Atonement. In this novel, McEwen employees several aspects of postmodernism and the narrative technique used in the novel capture the conflict that exists between perceptions of truth and fiction…
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"Fiction and Truth"

Download file to see previous pages Lucy cannot be found. Lois is blamed for the death and she cannot cope up with lose. She visualizes the existence of her friend through her paintings. The two works are serious fictions that contain a truth-value. Serious fiction, as seen in Atonement and Death by Landscape cannot be argued to be “true,” The relationship between fiction and truth is much more complicated. McEwen makes use of perspicuity of narration that is thwarted by the unavailability of a reliable memory and a psychological feeling of guilty. The novel is well plotted and makes use of an unusual emotional-based conventional fiction. At another level, the novel makes use of meta-fiction that captures the gap between human incomprehension and novelistic project. The novel is set on a hot summer day in 1935 and centers on an adolescent would-be-writer called Briony Tallis. She has a rich taste for drama that makes her lie about a family friend called Robbie Turner (McEwan 3). At the beginning of the novel, events are described in way that depicts a shift between real events and the information produced through the consciousness of the characters involved. This earlier perception is changed when we understand that another character implicated in the events had influenced the perceptions of other characters in the novel. The novel is based on the act of atonement by Briony because of the crime that she had committed on the fateful day. McEwen foregrounds memory throughout the novel. Readers encounter instances where the narrator in the novel seeks to understand and criticizes events as they are presented. The narrator poses certain questions that show the lack of understanding of the events as they are presented. For instance, the narrator asks, “…But how had her mother materialized so quickly form Lola’s bedside? […] But if she was there being consoled by her mother on the Chesterfield, how did she come to remember the arrival of Dr McLaren in his black waistcoat and his old-fashioned raised shirt collar…” (McEwan 14) this question leaves the reader in suspense because the narrator does not get an answer to this question. However, towards the end of the novel, the reader gets to know that what was earlier presented as true or realistic was constructed in a fictional world. This is clearly seen when the narrator says, “…had become as ghostly as invention…” (McEwan 24) The fourth part of the novel presents Briony in her seventies. It shows her novel to have undergone several revisions, which are doubtful. She has been diagnosed with vascular dementia, a memory loss disease. She states that her childhood perceptions were far from reality. This makes us ask questions. If her perception was far from reality, what of the present state when she has memory loss? This shows that the truth-value in the novel cannot be depended upon. The multiple perceptions and the exploration of the consciousness of characters in the novel are a staged performance that exist in Briony’s imagination and are illusions of reality. As she says, “…There was a crime. However, there were also the lovers. Lovers and their happy ends have been on my mind all night long. As into the sunset, we sail. An unhappy inversion. It occurs to me that I have not travelled so very far after all, since I wrote my little play. Or rather, I’ve made a huge digression and doubled back to my starting place… ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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