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Henry Perown Rationalism

Decent Essays
The novel Saturday by Ian McEwan is set in London, England after the 9/11 attacks, during the time when Iraq supposedly invaded the United States. The novel is an illustration of the protagonist Henry Perowne’s thoughts and daily routine on Saturday February 15th, 2003. Henry Perowne is a middle-aged neurosurgeon, who throughout the novel reiterates that he believes knowledge of science is more important than literature. The most prominent themes that emerge throughout the novel are the dichotomies of rationalism and literature. The novel Saturday consistently shows that the protagonist of the book believes that rationalism is more important and thus more valid than the beliefs of literature Rationalism is the theory that opinions and actions should be based on knowledge and experience rather than on “’irrational’ religious or emotional beliefs. The reasonable characteristics and ideas of facts and reason associated with rationalism contrast with the irrational ideas of literature throughout the novel. In Saturday by Ian McEwan the…show more content…
Even though they do not tell us why things happen the arts are useful in helping us connect with one another and assist in finding closure in everyday life. This realization comes about when Baxter calms down and is able to let his guard down after being read Dover Beach by Daisy. Perowne realizes that although literature has never been of much importance to him, it is an important driving force in the everyday actions and emotions of other people for example Baxter who is a very emotional person and is easily overwhelmed by his emotions, becomes easily irritated and angry and becomes aggressive and physical after Henry hits his car vs. Henry who is a rational being and does not allow his emotions to overwhelm him stays calm and collected and only analyzed the reason for Baxter’s
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