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Empathy in Ian McEwan's Short Stories
Weitere Titel
Empathie in Ian McEwan's Kurzgeschichten
VerfasserLechner, Katja-Christina
Begutachter / BegutachterinnenBaumbach, Sybille
Betreuer / BetreuerinnenBaumbach, Sybille
Umfang105 Seiten
HochschulschriftInnsbruck, Univ., Diplomarb., 2018
Datum der AbgabeMai 2018
Schlagwörter (DE)Empathie / Kurzgeschichte / Narrative Strategien / Narrative Techniken / Empathie Formen
Schlagwörter (EN)empathy / short story / narrative strategies / narrative techniques / forms of empathy
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubi:1-19020 Persistent Identifier (URN)
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Empathy in Ian McEwan's Short Stories [1.19 mb]
Zusammenfassung (Englisch)

Empathy has drawn the attention of a great number of philosophers and researchers since the Age of Enlightenment. Recent research about empathy, however, has been rather focused on empathy in relation to narratives and their fictional characters. In this thesis, the focus lies on various forms of empathy in selected short stories of Ian McEwan. What is more, it will be examined how Ian McEwans narrative techniques trick readers into empathizing with characters such as child molesters, murderers or family members that commit incest. It is by using narrative strategies as for instance first person perspective, emotion-laden words or tragic endings that he achieves to manipulate us readers and ensures that we are travelling with the character rather than being against him/her. The short story is a self-reflexive narrative that uses many literary features and devices, which are designed to evoke empathy in the reader. Ian McEwan knows that fiction is a deeply moral form and that it is the perfect medium for entering the mind of another. A discussion is made on how McEwan has constructed his short stories, which formalistic choices he has made, and how these relate to empathy. The discussions made in the thesis serve to understand how McEwan has constructed his narrative, and result in a conclusion, which states that McEwan has written short stories that are able to trick readers into empathizing. Before examining to what extent Ian McEwans short stories succeed in eliciting readers empathy with his violent and immoral characters, an overview of key theories of (negative) empathy and recent approaches to narrative empathy, as well as an analysis of the different techniques that are used to evoke empathy in readers is given.

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