The resurgence of the moral novel in the wake of 9-11
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In this paper, I attempt to correlate the recent rise of the moral novel with the attacks of 9/11. In exploring the definition of moral fiction and briefly tracing its roots in recent history, I attempt to answer the question of what early 21st century readers ask from their fiction, and what purpose the novel strives to serve. In examining the novels Saturday by Ian McEwan, The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud, and Everyman by Philip Roth, I hope to locate and explore the trend in contemporary novel writing that is to reinforce scripted notions of right and wrong that recall both Judeo-Christian mythology and the nineteenth century literature that perpetuated those values.