‘A mess of our own unmaking’
Enduring Love
in Ian McEwan
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This chapter analyzes Ian McEwan's testing of scientific rationalism in his novel Enduring Love. Underpinning this testing of character is McEwan's larger literary project, to consider the function of the novel when set against the claims of post-Darwinian science about the evolutionary basis of morality and judgement. This novel implicitly stages a contest of the relative merits of science and literature, as a careful fusion of form and content, contained within a suspense novel. It also shows humanity to be at a stage of evolution and/or social complexity that puts us out of the evolutionary loop, and that demands of us an ethical sense that addresses the problem of self-interest with acute self-consciousness.

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