Towards the ‘implicate order’: <i>The Child in Time</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:
Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time

Show Summary Details


This chapter analyzes Ian McEwan's The Child in Time, his first fiction to be clearly longer than novella length and his first sustained attempt at a social novel. It suggests that this work can be considered a ‘Condition of England novel’ in some respects because of its projection of a fourth or fifth-term Thatcherite government becoming increasingly authoritarian. This chapter also discusses McEwan's sources in popular science to show how a post-Einsteinian conception of the plasticity of time and space allows the central character to intervene in the past and guarantee his own future.

Keywords: The Child in Time; Ian McEwan; social novel; Condition of England novel; popular science; time and space; Thatcherite government

Chapter.  8728 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.