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Ian McEwan$
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Dominic Head

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719066566

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719066566.001.0001

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Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time

Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time

(p.70) 4 Towards the ‘implicate order’: The Child in Time
Ian McEwan

Dominic Head

Manchester University Press

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

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