Main Article Content
Atonement, perhaps Ian McEwan’s best-known novel, is considered an epic of British postmodernist literature because it touches on a variety of contemporary topics. Although Atonement focuses primarily on themes such as love and repentance, it also deals with social class, status, and power, which are analysed in this paper. Furthermore, social stratification and inequality form the crux of this analysis. Using Max Weber’s theory of social stratification, and the characters as examples, this research considers how much social division truly exists in the novel, which serves as a mirror to British society. Moreover, various forms of social mobility are examined, as well as the solutions to those problems which are not only present in fiction, but also in reality. Ian McEwan’s Atonement talks about these issues and more, he sets problems and poses questions that challenge our lives’ perspectives, hence making it a unique literary gem.
Copyright © 2019 Blaže Koneski Faculty of Philology, Skopje
Journal of Contemporary Philology (JCP)
Keister, L. (2012). Inequality: A Contemporary Approach to Race, Class, and Gender. New York: Cambridge University Press.
McEwan, I. (2002). Atonement. New York: Doubleday.
Parkin, F. (2002). Max Weber Revised Edition. London: Routledge.
Saunders, P. (1990). Social Class and Stratification. London: Routledge.
Weber, M. (1947). The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. New York: Oxford University Press.
Woodward, K. (2004). Questioning Identity: Gender, Class, Ethnicity. London: Routledge.
Carlbom, C. (2009). The Complexity of Class – A study of Ideology and the Power of Literature in Ian McEwan’s Narrative. [Online] BA Thesis. K01 Literary Seminar, Lund, 2009, Lund University. Available from: http://lup.lub.lu.se/student-papers/record/1415099 [Accessed: August, 13th, 2019]
Finney, B. (2004). Briony’s Stand against Oblivion: The Making of Fiction in Ian McEwan’s Atonement. [Online] Journal of Modern Literature, 27 (3):68–82. Available from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3831941?read-now=1&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents [Accessed: September 17th, 2019]
Fraser, I. (2013). Class Experience in Atonement. [Online] Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 54(4): 465-477. Available from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00111619.2012.656208 [Accessed: September 20th, 2019]
Halford, M. (2012). “Pass the Amo!”: Metonymy and Class in Ian McEwan’s Atonement. [Online] The Albatross, 2(1):25–32. Available from: https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/albatross/article/view/10452 [Accessed: August 19th, 2019]