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Saturday by ian mcewan

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Bo Hage

on 28 November 2014

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Transcript of Saturday by ian mcewan

Because Henry is a prejudiced character, Saturday is filled with social criticism.
Humanities versus natural science

- Three clusters of science:
Natural science, social science and humanities
- Natural science versus humanities in relation to Saturday
- Relationship Henry Perowne and Daisy Perowne / Grammaticus

The plot
- Natural Science
- Prejudice
- Proven wrong
Enlarging the problem
- "But Perowne doesn't stop. 'I promise you I'm not. All the data's upstairs in my study. I printed it out this afternoon and you can come up with me and...' He's cut off abruptly by Theo. 'Stop it Dad! Stop talking. Fucking shut up or he'll do it.'" (p. 216)
Discussion points
Henry Perowne is a prejudiced character
Prejudice is not very obvious:
- we are prejudiced
- we like to think we're not prejudiced
- we have learned to separate information that is relevant to the plot
Saturday by Ian McEwan
Works Cited
Henry sees the burning plane as a terrorist attack almost immediately (p.16)
Double standard on sexuality
Theo: - "dismissed his last girlfriend in that way he has with girls, of saying nothing much and letting them fade, without drama." (p.31)
Daisy: - "She’s bound to love a man other than him. It would be easier for him if her poems weren’t so wanton." (p.184)
- "a calamity, an insult and a waste." (p.240)
- "The despoiler of his daughter." (p.243)

Henry's mother:
- "She was a woman who gave her life to housework." (p.154)
- "He grew up thinking her intelligence was limited." (p.156)
The men on the square:
- "There are two West Indians and two, sometimes three Middle Easterners who might be Turks" (p.145)
- "Perowne assumed for a long time they were dealers." (p.145)
They sell tickets to fringe rap gigs (p.146)
- "Excellent English" (p.62)
- "Greying ladies in quilted anoraks and stout shoes" (p.61)
- "Coming between Rosalind an her ghost he must assume responsibilities. They had entered into an unspoken contract. Starkly put, to make love to Rosalind was to marry her." (p.48)
Is the social criticism in
clearly present and why?
Do you, as reader, notice the competition between the different sciences?
Do you think that the prejudice in
is used as criticism on society or is it merely used to enrich the narrative?
Dovido, John F., Kerry Kawakami, Craig Johnson, Brenda Johnson, and Adaiah Howard. "On the Nature of Prejudice: Automatic and Controlled Processes."
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
33.5 (1997): 510-40. Science Direct. Web.

Grellet, Frangoise. "Introduction."
Developing Reading Skills A Practical Guide to Reading Comprehension Exercises.
Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1981. N. pag. Print.

McEwan, Ian.
. London: Vintage, 2006. Print.

Snow, C. P.
The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution
. New York: Cambridge UP, 1959. Web.

Wurth, Kiene Brillenburg, and Ann Rigney.
Het Leven Van Teksten: Een Inleiding Tot De Literatuurwetenschap
. Amsterdam: Amsterdam UP, 2008. Print.
C.P. Snow
The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution

- Creation of two parallel worlds

- Humanities aim to understand (verstehen)
- Natural sciences aim to explain (erklaren)
W. Dilthey
- "At the cost of slowing his mental processes and many hours of his valuable time" (p. 67)
- "Sophisticated fairy story" (p. 67)

- "When anything can happen, nothing much matters. It's all kitsch to me" (p. 68)
- Daisy: "You ninny" she reproved him on a postcard, "you Gradgrind. It's literature, not physics!" (p. 68)

- "So far, Daisy's reading lists have persuaded him that fiction is too humanly flawed" (p. 68)

- "He was an adult with specialised skills that could stand alongside those of any poet." (p.194)

- "Perowne can't see how poetry - rather occasional work it appears, like grape picking - can occupy a whole working life." (p.195)

Baxter's turnaround
- "'I'm not taking anything else. You hear? Only this. It's all I want.' He clutches the book like a greedy child fearing the withdrawal of a treat." (p. 224)
- "Suddenly Baxter turns. He's licking his lips, his smile is wet and beatific, his eyes are bright. His voice is warm, and trembles with exalted feeling." (p. 224)
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