Shock-lit: the short stories and <i>The Cement Garden</i>

Dominic Head

in Ian McEwan

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780719066566
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701027 | DOI:
Shock-lit: the short stories and The Cement Garden

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This chapter analyzes the literature of shock embodied in Ian McEwan's novel The Cement Garden. It suggests that the cement garden is a clear metaphor for the urban desolation of the character of Jack and his siblings. This chapter also contends that situation of the protagonists in the novel has a parallel in the situation of the novelist and argues that the significant stylistic feature between the character and author is McEwan's response not just to the anomie of contemporary society, but also to the novelistic tradition into which he is writing himself.

Keywords: The Cement Garden; literature of shock; novel; Ian McEwan; urban desolation; literary character; anomie; contemporary society; novelistic tradition

Chapter.  9428 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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