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Ian McEwan’s Nutshell: A Critical Study of Its Thematic Structure [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2020; 4(8): 9-15 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2020.37233

Ian McEwan’s Nutshell: A Critical Study of Its Thematic Structure

Khalid Sultan Thabet Abdu
Department of English language, College of Science &Humanities, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

A novelist, in order to prevent monotony, predictability, and exhaustion, should innovate and experiment with unprecedented forms, contents, and techniques; this is what Ian McEwan did in his recent novel, Nutshell. This paper is an attempt to investigate the conceptual and thematic structure of the novel under study. It deals with the main themes, such as existence, murder, and conceit. The researcher traces the layers of themes discussed in the novel and in what ways they are dramatically narrated, mainly aiming to shed considerable light on the various literary techniques that contribute to the achievement of the thematic structure of the novel. The unusual nameless 9-embryonic narrator makes the novel a classic through its own uniqueness. The scholar also appraises the ingenious plot and the way it, with its twists, enhances the themes of murder and conceit. Thus, this paper is an attempt to show how the innocence concept is delivered through the figure of an innocent unborn fetus. Moreover, it is also an investigation of the novel’s sense of humor and the way it functions to highlight the author’s cynical attitude toward the world through the perspective of the fetus narrator. It also shows how the novel makes the tragedy of murder and conceit resemble a philosophical comedy. The novel is replete with metafictional narrative gestures, so part of the paper is dedicated to revealing how such gestures enrich the main themes. The researcher also analyzes how symbolism and imagery contribute to the thematic structure of the novel. The scholar uses the analysis and interpretation method, selecting the novel as a case study, the content of which is focused on its thematic body. He integrates all other narrative relevant elements organically into it.

Keywords: existence, nutshell, murder and conceit, symbols and images, thematic structure

Khalid Sultan Thabet Abdu. Ian McEwan’s Nutshell: A Critical Study of Its Thematic Structure. ALRJournal. 2020; 4(8): 9-15

Corresponding Author: Khalid Sultan Thabet Abdu, Saudi Arabia
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