Literature as Counter-History in The Blind Assassin and Atonement
Hoogen Stoevenbeld, L.H.
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By comparing The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood and Atonement by Ian McEwan, this thesis provides an insight into the way literature can reflect on the traditional historical narrative, which has been a subject of criticism in postmodernism, and even supplement it. Through their use of literary techniques found in historiographic metafiction and fictions of memory, the two novels criticize the one-sided, dominant representations of the 1930s and 40s in Canada and England, which usually focus on soldiers, bombs, and politics. The novels present a counter-history by reclaiming underrepresented parts of the past; in this case issues of gender and class.