When one thinks of stealing, the idea has a negative connotation to it, specifically because one is taught all throughout school to not take what is not ours. Yet stealing is something that all people do whether they know it or not. For reading works of literature from other writers, besides oneself, and then writing an essay later; the influence that that author has on one causes them to mimic their creativity mind. McEwan, despite receiving astonishing reviews for his novel Atonement, shows how artistic ability from human attributes mimic other literary novelists and artists. The author simply steals from authors like that of Virginia Woolf, who also steals from other writers like Marcel Proust. William Faulkner and James Joyce, along with Woolf, also steal from each other and their predecessors as well (Matus, 1).
In the first part of Atonement, the narration of each character seems to be an indifferent approach f...
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... to be a good artist, one will imitate. To be a great artist, one will steal. McEwan undeniably steals from his fellow peers, but the way in which the ideas a coupled with proper English, creates a novel with artistic unity. Without the use of old rehashed up ideas, McEwan could have never achieved the literary merit that this novel has. The narration of conscience and its subjectivity wouldn’t have made the main characters as impressible. For the novel seems to break a lot of stereotypical rules in British literature, yet is still interesting to the reader and is also standing against the test of time. It isn’t truly about stealing ideas from the past and rehashing these, but, extending and overhauling a creatively thinking mind in the cannon of British literature for the twenty-first century, is what achieves the novel Atonement such praise for artistry and quality.
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