"The innocent" is a novel written by the British author Ian Mc Ewan. The book was published in 1990.
The novel is set in a well-documented historical context and tells the love story of Leonard, a young and inexperienced English, and Maria, German and divorced. In support of the facts to which he refers, the author adds a note at the conclusion of the novel that cites the Operation Gold and clarifies how the character of Blake was not the result of fantasy, but that it was actually a double agent agent really active in that period. Here, therefore, that individual history is indissolubly intertwined with the collective history. In this context each character assumes a specific role and meaning. We are facing the eternal rivalry between the Americans and the British, accentuated at the time of the British decline and the American ascent. Leonard and Glass are the symbol. And yet we are nevertheless confronted with the delicate and sometimes critical relationship between the victorious and the vanquished, represented in the bond between Leonard and Maria, a relationship that does not fail to assume sometimes tones of abuse and violence, from which the strongest can often be attracted. towards the weaker.
So the complex story in which Leonard is involved is the ground on which the young Briton is destined to lose his innocence, an innocence that takes on multiple meanings, not only sexual but political. From Leonard's particular to the universal of Great Britain and History. Leonard's lack of experience is closely linked to his sense of sin. His story becomes a political metaphor involving nations in an unfair and sneaky game.
The conclusion of the novel, so bitter as a whole, wants to convey a message of hope. Leonard returns to Berlin thirty years after the end of the cold war, shortly before the fall of the wall, carrying with him a letter from Mary. Revisiting the places of the past means evoking happy and terrible episodes of life. By now the age is advanced. Leonard is tired. He feels the need to lean on a young trunk. It is to future generations that the task of sustaining the past to renew it is entrusted.