Essay Response To The Novel "Saturday"

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Prompt: British critics have expressed a sense of disbelief that Henry would not recognize the lines of Matthew Arnold’s poem, “Dover Beach, “ones of the most famous poems in English literature. Yet Henry has pointed out repeatedly that he’s impatient when reading literature. Is it ironic that Henry- a character, after all, in a literary work- is so resistant to the appeal of fiction and poetry? Why might McEwan have chosen “Dover Beach” as the poem that saves Daisy by appealing so powerfully to Baxter? What does it mean to him? What emotions does the poems speaker express? Henry Perowne is a very complex character, crafted in the image of a world-conscientious person of the present. The fact that he doesn’t like works of fiction and poetry doesn’t come as a surprise. A general analysis of Henry’s personality would show that his mind is based in the here and now and doesn’t really entertain any ideas that for most provide an escape from reality. When Henry says, “So far, Daisy’s reading lists have persuaded him that fiction is too humanly flawed, too sprawling and hit-and-miss to inspire uncomplicated wonder at the magnificence of human ingenuity, of the impossible dazzlingly achieved” (67) pretty much summarizes his feelings toward fictitious pieces of literature. Henry prefers to think about the things that are happening in the present. Some of his common topics of discussion are the Iraq War, medical practices, rational thought, and relationships between various people. So, from the very beginning it is clear that Henry is not typical. Even as a kid, Henry had a mindset not typical of a child his age, one of a matured mind. Henry says after shopping at the fish market that, “Even as a child, and especially after Aberfan, he never believed in fate or providence, or the future being made by someone in the sky. Instead, at every instant, a trillion trillion

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