Yanwen asked:

Please help me find out the purpose or motives behind McEwan's creation of this very dislike character -- Michael Beard. What does McEwan want to say through Beard?

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Mari I'm writing a paper arguing that Beard is himself meant to represent humanity's approach to the environmental disaster: he lacks the ability to take responsibility for his own actions, acts in his own self-interest, and relishes in excess (both in food and women) to achieve his own pleasures at the detriment to himself and others.

I think McEwan's trying to tell us that by ignoring/failing to take large-scale concerted efforts against Global Warming simply because environmental issues don't seem to cause immediate catastrophe in our own lives we are effectively acting like the despicable Michael Beard.
Colleen As the author says in his Toronto interview in 2010, this book is sort of about climate change but mostly about human nature. I agree.
Suzanne Auckerman I have no clue. Perhaps how people are shaped by their parents--his mother was kind of strange as well as the impact of fame. Receiving the Nobel Prize at such an early age was the pinnacle.
Nicky Webber I agree with you Mari - he's an expert in the enviro/solar area (and dont we all like to think we know everything and have an opinion - see social media to confirm that observation), and yet we do nothing. He makes a throw away remark about leaving the floor heating on all day by accident and shrugs it off. He really represents humanity - we rub our hands together anxiously and tut tut put hearts next to all the soc media enviro initiatives but still put our rubbish in plastic bags and silently carry on regardless (most of us!) He wins us over by using a character like Beard - complex, intelligent but a real bastard! hahahaha
Riitvee Garg (i know its a little too late but..) I love the parallels you have drawn and i agree. Along with that i believe he is giving us a very valid reason as to why the human civilisation will not be able to grow at all, greed and pride. Even if an individual tries to bring about a change the current market structure will never allow it.
M_riane I'm not sure, but he seems to be having a lot of fun in the process.
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