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Ian M^Ewa the cement garden FICTION/LITERATURE " R i v e t i n g Possesses the suspense and chilling impact o. Ian McEwan's Somerset Maugham Award-winning collection First Love, Last Rites brought him instant recognition as one of the most influential voices writing in. Jack, the 15 year old narrator of Ian McEwan's "The Cement Garden" begins his story with that statement. Название: Цементный сад Оригинальное название: The Cement Garden Год: Страна: Франция, Германия.

Cement Garden Pdf

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Read The Cement Garden PDF. In this tour de force of psychological unease - now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack. Read The Cement Garden Book PDF. In this tour de force of psychological unease - now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead. The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan 'In Extremis: The Cement Garden', New York Review of Books, Full-text is available pixia-club.info format.

It is mainly dominated by power struggles among the siblings, disorientation and imminent self-destruction. The approximation of Jack and Julie can be seen as the start of the second phase of regression. It is characterized by corporate feelings among the siblings as well as by corporal liberty in general. The latter reaches a sensual and erotic level as McEwan tells us about the incest between the main character, Jack, and his older sister, Julie.

This scene is considered a scandalous culmination of regression. We will begin with the aspect of freedom. Freedom plays an important role in the research of regression. While it is usually perceived as something positive, here is must be regarded as a malediction and the beginning of the end.

The children are simply overwhelmed with all the freedom they suddenly have when their parents die. They left some food prepared for their children and even explained to them how to use the cooker. Now, however, the situation is different. Now the parents left without having left anything but a corpse in the cellar.

But there was no excitement now. The days were too long, it was too hot, the house seemed to have fallen asleep. The house gives us the impression of a prison as almost the whole story takes place in or around it. We never read about neighbours who come by or about friends who enter this stronghold. They are afraid to lose this state and refuse to become adult. Even before being covered by the father who tries to control everything in and around the house, the garden is no place of relaxation.

Derek becomes interested in what they are hiding in their basement. After a smell emanating from the basement draws him downstairs, Jack steps in and lies that the cement block contains a dead dog, subtly referencing their mother in the process. Jack falls asleep naked on his mother's bed. He wakes up to the sound of Tom crying.

Jack goes into Julie's room and joins Tom, who is also naked, in the crib. Tom tells Jack that Derek has told him that the cement block actually contains their mother.

Jack realizes that Julie has told Derek the truth. Jack tells Tom fairy tale stories to coax him back to sleep, and soon falls asleep himself. He is awoken by Julie, who is both delighted and amused at what she has seen. Julie sits Jack on her bed and explains to him that she and Derek are not physically intimate and that he is an immature adult who lives with his mother.

As their conversation becomes more intimate, Julie undresses to join Jack in his nudity, before kissing him.

The two cuddle on the bed, while contemplating the future now that too many people know their family's secret. Jack predicts that they will be taken into foster care, and their house will be torn down like the other prefabs in the area, contemplating that "one day, someone will come rooting round. All they will find will be a few broken bricks in the long grass. He demands to know how long "this" has been going on, and Julie simply replies, "ages and ages.

Mother said, 'That was quite unnecessary. Jokes were not made against Father because they were not funny. He sulked. I felt guilt when I desperately wanted to feel elation. I tried to convince Julie of our victory so that she in turn would convince me. We had Sue up that night lying between us but the game was giving us no pleasure. Sue got bored and went away. Julie was for apologizing, making it up to him in some way. I could not face that, but when, two days later, he spoke to me for the first time I was greatly relieved.

Then the garden was not mentioned for a long time, and when he covered the kitchen table with his plans he looked at them alone.

Table of contents

After his first heart attack he stopped work on the garden altogether. Weeds pushed up through the cracks in the paving stones, part of the rockery collapsed and the little pond dried up. The dancing Pan fell on its side and broke in two and nothing was said. The possibility that Julie and I were responsible for the disintegration filled me with horror and delight.

Shortly after the cement came the sand. A pale-yellow pile filled one corner of the front garden. It became appar- ent, probably through my mother, that the plan was to surround the house, front and back, with an even plane of concrete. My father confirmed this one evening. In fact, a great expanse of concrete round the house appealed to me. It would be a place to play football. I saw helicopters landing there.

Above all, mixing concrete and spreading it over a levelled garden was a fascinating violation. My excitement increased when my father talked of hiring a cement mixer. My mother must have talked him out of that, for we started work one Saturday morning in June with two shovels.

In the cellar we split open one of the paper sacks and filled a zinc bucket with the fine, pale-grey powder. Then my father went outside to take the bucket from me as I passed it up through the coal hole. When he reached forward he made a silhouette against the white, featureless sky behind him. He emptied the powder on the path and returned the bucket to me for refilling.

When we had enough of that, I wheeled a barrowload of sand from the front and added it to the pile. His plan was to make a hard path round the side of the house so that it would be easy to move sand from the front garden to the back.

Apart from his infrequent, terse instructions we said nothing. I was pleased that we knew so exactly what we were doing and what the other was thinking that we did not need to speak. For once I felt at ease with him. While I fetched water in the bucket he shaped the cement and sand into a mound with a dip in its centre. I did the mixing while he added the water.

He showed me how to use the inside of my knee against my forearm to gain better leverage. I pretended that I knew already. When the mix was consistent we spread it on the ground. Then my father went down on his knees and smoothed the surface with the flat side of a short plank. I stood behind him leaning on my shovel. He stood up and supported himself against the fence and closed his eyes. When he opened them he blinked as if surprised to find himself there and said, 'Well, let's get on then.

The fourth time round boredom and familiar longings were slowing my movements.

I yawned frequently and my legs felt weak behind the knees. In the cellar I put my hands in my pants. I wondered where my sisters were.

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Why weren't they helping? I passed a bucketful to my father and then, addressing myself to his shape, told him I needed to go to the toilet. He sighed and at the same time made a noise with his tongue against the roof of his mouth. Upstairs, aware of his impatience, I worked on my- self rapidly. As usual, the image before me was Julie's hand between Sue's legs. From downstairs I could hear the scrape of the shovel.

My father was mixing the cement himself. Then it happened, it appeared quite suddenly on the back of my wrist, and though I knew about it from jokes and school biology books, and had been waiting for many months, hoping that I was no different from any other, now I was astonished and moved. Against the downy hairs, lying across the edge of a grey concrete stain, glis- tened a little patch of liquid, not milky as I had thought, but colourless. I dabbed at it with my tongue and it tasted of nothing.

I stared at it a long time, up close to look for little things with long flickering tails.

As I watched, it dried to a barely visible shiny crust which cracked when I flexed my wrist. I decided not to wash it away. I remembered my father waiting and I hurried down- stairs. My mother, Julie and Sue were standing about talking in the kitchen as I passed through. They did not seem to notice me. My father was lying face down on the ground, his head resting on the newly spread concrete.

The smoothing plank was in his hand. I approached slowly, knowing I had to run for help. For several seconds I could not move away. I stared wonderingly, just as I had a few minutes before.

A light breeze stirred a loose corner of his shirt. Subsequently there was a great deal of activity and noise. An ambulance came and my mother went off in it with my father, who was laid out on a stretcher and covered with a red blanket.

In the living room Sue cried and Julie comforted her. The radio was playing in the kitchen. I went back outside after the ambulance had left to look at our path. I did not have a thought in my head as I picked up the plank and carefully smoothed away his impression in the soft, fresh concrete. She already held the local under-eighteen records for the and yard sprint. She could run faster than anyone I knew. Father had never taken her seriously, he said it was daft in a girl, running fast, and not long before he died he refused to come to a sports meeting with us.

We attacked him bitterly, even Mother joined in.

The Cement Garden

He laughed at our exasperation. Perhaps he really intended to be there, but we left him alone and sulked among our- selves. On the day, because we did not ask him to come, he forgot and never saw in the last month of his life his elder daughter star of all the field. He missed the pale- brown, slim legs flickering across the green like blades, or me, Tom, Mother and Sue running across the enclosure to cover Julie with kisses when she took her third race. In the evenings she often stayed at home to wash her hair and iron the pleats in her navy-blue school skirt.

She was one of a handful of daring girls at school who wore starched white petticoats beneath their skirts to fill them out and make them swirl when they turned on their heel. She wore stockings and black knickers, strictly forbidden.

She had a clean white blouse five days a week. Some mornings she gathered her hair at the nape of her neck with a brilli- ant white ribbon. All this took considerable preparation each evening. I used to sit around, watching her at the ironing-board, getting on her nerves.

She had boyfriends at school, but she never really let them get near her. There was an unspoken family rule that none of us ever brought friends home. Her closest friends were girls, the most rebellious, the ones with reputations.

I sometimes saw her at school at the far end of a corridor surrounded by a small noisy group. But Julie herself gave little away, she dominated her group and heightened her reputation with a disruptive, intimidating quietness. I had some status at school as Julie's brother but she never spoke to me there or acknowledged my presence.

At some point during the same period my spots were so thoroughly established across my face that I abandoned all the rituals of personal hygiene. I no longer washed my face or hair or cut my nails or took baths. I gave up brush- ing my teeth. In her quiet way my mother reproved me continuously, but I now felt proudly beyond her control.

The Cement Garden

If people really liked me, I argued, they would take me as I was. In the early morning my mother came into my bedroom and exchanged my dirty clothes for clean ones.

At weekends I lay in bed till the afternoon and then took long solitary walks. In the evenings I watched Julie, list- ened to the radio or just sat.

I had no close friends at school. I frequently stared at myself in mirrors, sometimes for as long as an hour.When Julie and I reached the end of our road I lunged at her wrist and said, 'Carry your satchel, miss.

Raising the spade above his head in the manner of an executioner, he brings it hurtling down on a bag of cement, splitting it from end to end and disgorging its grey, powdery contents onto the floor of the cellar. Shortly after Jack realizes this, the smell becomes so intense that Derek can no longer be prevented from investigating the cellar and he finally discovers the chest. I frequently stared at myself in mirrors, sometimes for as long as an hour.

Although the rest of the family assume they are having fun, Julie recognizes what he is doing, and plays along. Perhaps the block of cement with their dead mother's body visible through the crack might, but it didn't have quite the same impact on me, in part because it didn't seem to have much of an impact on the characters.

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