Landscape, Scientistic Realism, and Climate Change in Ian McEwan's Solar

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English, faculty of Foreign languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of English, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 English Department, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This paper studies the landscapes in Ian McEwan’s Solar and examines the narrator’s epistemological lens in his description of the landscapes. The research draws upon David Harvey’s definition of built environment, which contributes to the generation of a more practical definition of landscape, and argues that the narrator and the focalizer’s realistic descriptions of the landscapes have their origin in their scientistic mindset and firm reductionist belief in (neo)liberalism. With regard to such descriptions, the paper focuses on how, since the late twentieth century, the earth, as the cradle of nature and location of countries with definite political borders, is transformed into a landscape of a (blue) planet without any political or spatial borders on it. Using Harvey’s Marxist critiques of capitalism and neoliberalism, this study also analyzes the narrator and focalizer’s belief in science as a savior and the single avenue towards understanding the world. It is concluded that the ecological stance in the story is grounded in the very epistemology from which the man-made climate change arises.



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