Atonement-Historical Fiction Essay

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Ian McEwan’s post-modern novel Atonement is written as historical fiction in which the story follows an upper class family English society in the Second World War. In novels such as this which revolve around or concern real life historic events there is a lot of controversy as there is a major concern in how the event are portrayed and a careful balanced must be maintained between the truth and recreation of the past and is put as “The conflict between fact and fiction”( McTigue, Erin, Elaine Thornton, and Patricia Wiese 2). In something as traumatically significant in our history like the world wars there is always major uncertainty in the authenticity of significant events in history such as the allied evacuation of Dunkirk during world war two which plays a large part in the text during part 2 of the novel In which one of the main characters Robbie Tallis finds himself in Normandy trying to find his way to the mass evacuation. Margaronis says that authors face when writing a novel set in times of war or political brutality that they themselves did not experience. On the one hand, postmodernism posits that experience and narrative are subjective, and, on the other, survivors of historical crimes of the 20th century claim only victims of these atrocities can discuss their meanings and implications”. The major concern with the portrayals is the subjectivity of it in which the war takes on a person’s own view of the events and the research. Although Atonement doesn’t go into great depths of the specific events of the war meaning that many of the key quotes are generalizations of the war environment rather than specific dated events. However Atonement does comment on how the events the characters are experiencing will be remembered which examines an interesting idea. Although fiction can be a means of remembering the past many precautions need to be taken which
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