Chapter

Dreams of captivity: <i>The Comfort of Strangers</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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719066566.003.0003
Dreams of captivity: The Comfort of Strangers

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This chapter examines Ian McEwan's novel The Comfort of Strangers and his screenplay for the film The Imitation Game. It explains that the film is McEwan's first explicit engagement of feminism and it is most notable for enacting a dialogue between two overlapping strands of feminism: the emergent feminism of the wartime era, viewed through the lens of 1970s feminism. The novel addresses the problematic relationship between values, ideas and literature and it shows that the author is unable, as yet, to generate vital social resonances through the medium of fiction. This work is perhaps his most disturbing book, with its emphasis on violence and psychosis.

Keywords: The Comfort of Strangers; The Imitation Game; Ian McEwan; feminism; values; ideas; literature; violence; psychosis

Chapter.  7522 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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