The Modern World’s Complacency

By Lauren White, Harper Minor, and Jordan Mason

This infographic explores complacency in Ian McEwan in Saturday. First, we observed how complacency and proximity are closely correlated. Several times in the story, we saw how as a threat approached, characters took action to address the imminent threat. However, in other cases, when the threat was distant, characters remained complacent. This is represented in the infographic by supporting quotes and a two-word correlation map (with data derived from Voyant). Another cause for complacency we noted was sensationalism in news and media. When the characters are bombarded with a constant stream of disastrous events, they become accustomed and numb to new dramatic events. The newspapers in the second panel feature quotations that represent how sensationalism affected the characters in the story. Finally, the last panel studies how the capacity to make a difference in a situation affected a character’s likelihood to take action. If a character felt helpless, he or she was more likely to remain complacent. We used a word correlation pyramid graph for this demonstration. By analyzing the theme of complacency, this infographic reveals that through McEwan’s portrayal of his characters, the modern person has become comfortable with taking a passive stance in society.


*This infographic was designed using Piktochart and Voyant