Chapter

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719066566.003.0004
Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time

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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)

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