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Essay on James Wodd's How Fiction Works and Ian McEwan's Atonement

Assignment id 1009166
Discipline Arts Entertainment
Assignment type Essay
Words 1221
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James Wood in his book, How Fiction Works, analyzes various essential elements of fiction. Most intriguing of that, is his critique of "Character" and "Sympathy and Complexity". These two chapters are perfectly exemplified in Ian McEwan's novel Atonement. The publication demonstrates what Wood calls Sympathetic Identification. When a reader can create an emotional link to certain characters. Writer Ian McEwan utilizes absolutely free indirect style to evoke sympathetic identification with personalities. In Atonement the personality Briony Tallis embodies the threat which comes with the inability to put oneself in the emotions and circumstances. She is not able to sympathetically connect to others. The character of Briony would rather a tidy fiction afterward an unorganized reality. That as a result results in guilt and sorrow. Wood, in their own investigation shows how McEwan through Briony demonstrates the separation of characters so as to show a reader just how to occupy the mind of characters. Upon studying the book there is a temptation to condemn Briony because of her childish wrong doings. Wood investigation that in expression, "that this moving out of ourselves into realms beyond our daily experience may be a ethical and sympathetic education of its own kind"(Wood, 102). In moving to the view of a character the readers learn something about themselves. An author does not ask its reader to know characters that are unapproved of until the writer has unequivocally and firmly condemned them themselves. A reader may exhibit disgust or hate for a personality and simultaneously see life through their eyes. A reader simultaneously moves from dislike into a moral and sympathetic schooling of the personality in question's motives. Wood defines that.

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