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A Reader's Response to McEwan's Characterisation of Joe Rose in Chapters 1 - 6 of 'Enduring Love'

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Introduction

A Reader's Response to McEwan's Characterisation of Joe Rose in Chapters 1 - 6 of 'Enduring Love' In Chapters 1-6 of 'Enduring Love' McEwan has forced the reader to become heavily involved in the storyline through the use of a dramatic event; the balloon accident that happened within the first chapter. In the first 6 Chapters it becomes clear that Jed has become infatuated with Joe Rose. The reader can then use this as an insight into the personality and the character of Joe through the events that unfold within these chapters. Personally, as the reader, I see Joe as a very educated person who has a very organised, analytical and rational mind; he processes information in a very logical way. This comes across when he talks about evolution and Darwin when he picks Clarissa up from the airport. He observes other peoples expressions when they see their loved ones when they come through the gate at the airport; "if one ever wanted proof of Darwin's contention that the many expressions of emotion in humans are universal, genetically inscribed, then a few minutes...." ...read more.

Middle

Joe links this show to Jed's shoes with the red laces on the day of the balloon accident. McEwan has written this novel on the base of Joe being the narrator as well as the main character in the storyline. This makes life very difficult for the reader as you do not know where or not to trust Joe or not because is direct involvement within the storyline. If the narrator was an outsider who could have an objective outlook on the whole situation then the reader would be able to trust what the narrator was saying because he is not involved in the actual storyline. However as Joe is extremely involved in the actual story this element of doubt comes into the readers mind whether or not he is actually reliable or not. As the reader I would say that Joe is not reliable in his perception of what is actually happening to himself and the other characters in the novel. I believe that the novelist is playing a game with the reader, that he is withholding vital information that would make you understand what is happening more. ...read more.

Conclusion

At some points the story is very full of flow and this is where Joe becomes interesting and intriguing because you are finding out new things about the characters and how these all link to evolution and science etc. However at other points in the novel you just become frustrated and agonised within the storyline because of when Joe stops and starts the story like a tape. To the reader this stopping and starting of the story just becomes incredibly annoying as you have become so entwined within the storyline you, as the reader, just want to carry on and find out what happens next but McEwan creates the sense of suspense while Joe stops and starts the novel. In the chapters 1-6 of 'Enduring Love' McEwan has created different aspects of Joe Rose which makes the reader want to trust Joe but also puts a bit of doubt into the readers mind in whether or not Joe is actually telling the truth or if it is just paranoia. These come out well, and in such a way to not to show the reader just yet what Joe is actually up to. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Jenkins 12Et 1 ...read more.

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