Characterisation of the narrator
The main character of the story “Dead as They Come” by Ian McEwan is also its narrator. His characterisation is constructed both directly (self-characterisation) and indirectly (through actions, attitudes, thoughts). He is a developing, unreliable character as he changes from a man who is attracted by a window mannequin to someone who develops a sick sexual love for the dummy and finally into a madman.
From his outer characterisation we find out that he is a 44-year-old rich business man who has been married three times before:
I am wealthy. Possibly there are ten men resident in London with more money than I. Probably there are only five or six. Who cares? I am rich and I made my money on the telephone. I shall be forty-five on Christmas Day. I have been married three times… (p. 72, ll. 8-11)
We also know that he has a personal chauffeur, an impressive art collection, and that he considers himself a good cook. In the course of the narrative he also becomes a knight and is offered a political position.
His inner characterisation is quite complex, as the man is psychologically disturbe...