A Day in the Life in the Future: The Contemporary Man in Saturday

In Ian McEwan's Saturday, the protagonist Henry Perowne is given the task of representing the trials of being a contemporary man. However, he seems to be more than just an average contemporary man. McEwan gives Henry the characteristics of a somewhat perfect man, an individual who society in a post-terrorism world may strive to be like. These actions make it seem as if McEwan is writing Henry as a response to the war-driven world. McEwan does this by making Henry neutral when it comes to situations where violence would be seen as acceptable. The image of the future man is increased by Henry's negative viewpoint on old views and positive outlook at artefacts of the future.

First, Henry has the characteristics of a man who is against quick action in the form of violence. His thoughts on the initial reaction of the world responding to terrorism with war are given early, where he thinks to himself that the “idea...was all an aberration, that the world would surely calm down...that solutions were possible, that reason [was a] powerful tool”(McEwan 30). Here, Henry describes his initial thoughts surrounding how terrorism was to be handled, through reason rather than war. He seems to be convincing himself that the rest of the...

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