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Ian McEwan's Dead as They Come
Pages 6 (1506 words)
In his short story, Dead as They Come Ian McEwan evokes a gloomy, almost depressing, fragment of a world where the narrator fights to balance himself on the edge, and finally falls to reveal himself as the broken, self centered man that he is. McEwan uses his reader's knowledge of culture and society to help showcase his narrator's masculinity throughout the piece. …
"Men's behavior," McEwan has been quoted as saying, " is somehow invisible; we don't see ourselves as having a behavior that is indefinitely male, we're just human". The blurring of the lines between what is masculine and what is feminine is brought to the forefront in Dead as They Come as the narrator fights with emotions that are characterized with those belonging to both male and female alike. As the narrator begins his story, his romanticized obsession with the storefront mannequin "Helen" is like that which women love to read about in romance novels.
He describes in rather over the top romantic detail saying, "Her body in it's rippling changes of posture, adapted itself to the unique demands of each creation; with breathless grace the lines of her perfect body played tender counterpart with the shifting arabesques of sartorial artifice". While statements like these make it obvious that the narrator has a romantic and passionate soul, he feels the need to make up for this emotional weakness by reminding the reader over and over again of his overabundance of wealth and success as a business man. He goes on to say, "I bore you with lyricism," and abruptly changes the reader's attention by explaining, "I must tell you something about myself. I am wealthy. Possibly there are ten men resident in London with more money than I. Probably there are only five or six". ...
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