Ian McEwan: Machines Like Me (4786 words)


Published in 2019, Machines Like Me, Ian McEwan’s fifteenth novel, is a “cautionary fable” (Lucas) set in Britain in an alternative version of 1982, a time when the first twenty-five “plausible” silicon humans, thirteen Eves and twelve Adams, have been “manufactured” (2). The ploy which enables this counterfactual version of events in the second half of the twentieth century is the advancement of technology as a result of the survival of Alan Turing (1912-1954), renowned mathematician and Enigma codebreaker. In 1952, following prosecution for engaging in homosexual activity, the fictional Turing opts for incarceration as an alternative to chemical castration. During his prison term, &…

Citation: Logotheti, Anastasia. "Machines Like Me". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 October 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=38987, accessed 05 June 2020.]

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