The Relationship between History and Ethics in Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs

Maryam Sedaghat


The relationship between history and ethics may seem irrelevant at first; however, these two have been related during the long history of war, violence and mass killing. The need of history to ethics is for saving itself from all the violence and terror. Emmanuel Levinas as a philosopher has tried to define ethics in a way that suits the terrible historical condition of humanity in the twentieth century. In his view, ethics is the infinite responsibility towards other human beings. He defines ‘being’ in relation to the ‘other’ who may be a complete stranger. In this definition a person bears complete responsibility toward the other and should answer the other’s call for help. In Ian McEwan's novel Black Dogs the protagonist is exposed to historical legacies of violence, and develops an ethical consciousness until the end of the novel. Responsibility seems to be a good answer to historical mass killing and violence that is dominant in the world.    

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.