"Nutshell" is the latest novel written by Ian McEwan and published in 2016.
The protagonist of the novel is a fetus, which can be considered as Hamlet of the twenty-first century
Like the Shakespearean Hamlet, he is an involuntary witness to the crime committed by his mother Trudy and his uncle Claude against his father John Cairncross, he is the modern tragic hero who struggles to question whether it is possible to live in a corrupt world. violent, or if it is better not to be born at all. To be or not to be born or not to be born is the question that he poses in front of a painful and unacceptable reality. With the speculative capacity of the intellectual, our fetus wonders whether it is possible to know the present or the future world.
To these negative characters, however, is opposed the old model, in the character of John Cairncross, the poet, a scholar of Keats, linked to a world of beauty and art. And as in many other works by McEwan, this novel also enhances the function of literature and poetry, in particular, which is entrusted with the task of bringing order into the chaos of a degraded world, in order to restore the lost dignity.
The story of Claude and Trudy, as it comes to us through the description of the little baby, becomes a metaphor of the condition of the world, too often difficult to accept. To be or not to be? Fight or accept? Life prevails over the rest. And "everything else is chaos"