Amsterdam By Ian Mcewan Analysis

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In Amsterdam by Ian McEwan the moral choice is not necessarily a conspicuous one. Throughout the novel doing what is moral is clouded by the characters selfishness or what they presume to be selflessness. Friendship, politics and media are typically associated with the more ambiguous areas in life. In Amsterdam, the intricacies of these topics are made even more complex by the Clive Linley’s inward conflicts. The complexities of morality and ambition are revealed through McEwan’s employment of imagery and the striking characterization of Clive Linley. To begin with, McEwan’s use of imagery is quite powerful as one is in enveloped into Clive Linley’s environment and inward thoughts as he ventures through the mountains. Clive is hoping to find the theme for his final symphony while being surrounded by nature. Linley strives to produce a symphony with the “spiritual weight” of Beethoven’s Ode to joy(McEwan). However, while on his quest he begins to feel apprehensive about the “colossal emptiness” and even the rock mass above the valley starts resembling a “long frown set in stone” (McEwan). As Linley continues his journey the nature that was supposed to spark genius hinders his creative process by causing him to feel that his mission was pointless. Linley begins questioning if focusing on his last symphony is the right choice for him to make or if he is just using it as a tool to distract him from a fear of death. Linley’s nihilistic reflection can make one doubt the
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