Solar: Novel and Angela Beard Essay

Submitted By cdccdc
Words: 1152
Pages: 5

Solipsism is the philosophical theory that the self is all that you know to exist. McEwan is by far, one of the most unique authors I’ve ever come across. He uses the main character Michael Beard, as a way of proving how unrealistic the solipsistic theory is. Throughout the novel McEwan also provides scientific proof of the necessity for relationship connectedness by including topics on world ecology and global warming issues. This novel delves into the importance of relationships, especially the people with whom you encounter on a daily basis.
On page 146, protagonist character Michael Beard reveals some of the solipsistic tendencies that McEwan is trying to portray. Beard mistakenly devoured another man’s bag of chips, and then accused the man of being wrong. Once Beard found his receipt, evidence of his wrong doing, he thinks of it as being humorous and laughed it off. “He was so entirely in the wrong but in the moment it was liberating, strangely like joy. There could be no excuses; he had no defense. He also felt a mirthless impulse to laugh. His error was so unambiguous, so unsullied, he stood so completely revealed to himself, a naked fool, that he felt purified and redeemed, like a penitent, like an elated medieval flagellant with a newly flayed back.” (McEwan 146)
Beard also had a hard time with arriving to important events on time. He didn't seem to care much, because this act continued numerous times throughout the book. One example of this is when he arrived late to his 130km snowmobile ride into sub-zero weather. He arrived late and forgot to use the restroom. Unfortunately for him he paid the price, and for us it showed off McEwan’s humorous writing style. Beard’s tardiness really portrays his solipsistic personality because he feels as though everything is on “his” time. There was also a scene in which his wife is having an affair with one of his fellow coworkers, Aldous. Beard became very angry and as Aldous was begging for his mercy he slipped and landed on a rounded corner, which penetrated the nape of his neck. At this instance, Aldous was dead. Beard thought of a way to manipulate the situation and make it seem as though Tarpin had committed a crime. He felt this was his rightful revenge to punish Tarpin for having an affair with his wife. Without hesitation Beard threw away any evidence that could lead to him being involved with Aldous’ death. He took some of Tarpin’s property and made it seem as though he committed the murder. Beard didn't care to tell the truth and admit that it was an accident. Instead he thought they would assume he murdered Aldous and send Tarpin to prison. This situation alone shows how Beard doesn't care about anyone but himself. It suggests that Beard did not have a guilty conscious about ruining Tarpin’s life. He is so self-centered and doesn't care about anyone else’s existence but his own. (Page 111)
On page 195, the author seems to implicate that Michael Beard had a closer bond with his mother than his father. Early on, Angela Beard withdrew her love from Michael’s father Henry for reasons unknown and even though they stayed together, it remained a loveless marriage. Mrs. Beard was considered a beautiful woman and a good cook. She lived for her son and doted on him in the best way she knew how, with food. She fed Michael excessively as an infant, and would often enter him in contests where he won numerous top prizes for being the fattest most beautiful baby. During his formative years, Mrs. Beard cooked passionately for her son and even took a cooking course so she could learn to make special meals for him. When Michael entered adolescence, his mother started the first of 17 extramarital affairs that lasted more than 11 years. While in a hospital dying of cancer, Angela Beard felt compelled to share what she had done with her son, now in his 2nd year of college. She hated herself, and wanted forgiveness for neglecting him as a child. As she lie dying, Michael