Sustainability or climate change? An ecocritical analysis of Ian McEwan’s Solar :

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation

Author: Anne Mette Hartvigsen; [2013]

Keywords: ;


This essay is an ecocritical literary analysis of the novel Solar. The aim is to investigate the effect on the reader of the main characters, place, symbols and satire with focus on climate change and sustainability. The protagonist Michael Beard, a despicable, selfish antihero, consumes everything and everybody whereas Tom Aldous, the heroic character, is devoted to a life of sustainability. Beard represents the greedy capitalistic Western consumer society and its male leaders who close their eyes to the warnings of a changing climate, and Aldous represents the sustainable and alternative lifestyle. Humor and ridicule exhibits the weaknesses and greed of mankind in a satirical way. Symbols like cancer and the Co2 emitting transport system symbolize overconsumption and a stressed globe. The effect on the reader is a reflection about the ongoing struggle between climate change and sustainability and the demand for a change towards a sustainable lifestyle.

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