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Enduring Love: Chapter 12

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Introduction

Enduring love: Chapter 12 Chapter 12 allows McEwan to move along the plot as he is able to describe in retrospect Joes feelings as he is driving. The chapter begins with Joe reflecting upon his 'sense of failure'. Joe reflects upon the fact that he no longer finds comfort in work nor what he did before. He states 'twenty years ago I might have hired a professional listener, but... I had lost faith in the talking cure'. This provides an immense insight into Joe as a character as he admits he would have previously been to a 'professional listener' which can readily only be interpreted as a euphemism for a psychologist. Clearly, Joe has previously had issues which he has had to seek professional help with. Another insight into his character is shown as he is 'close to doubling the speed limit' which in this case, allows McEwan to create the message that Joe is in a distressed mood creating a transition from a rational scientist to an unstable man. We see a mind filled with anxiety and paranoia as Joe begins to relive the morning in retrospect. ...read more.

Middle

The fact she additionally, 'snatched' the coat in prompt action to leave Joe's company suggests they both find their current situations easier to deal with alone rather than fuelling each other's negative thoughts when they are together. Their disconnected relationship is also portrayed heavily by McEwan in Chapter 12. The over abundance of Joe asking himself questions about how Clarissa may or may not have construed his words is only emphasised with the repetition of 'or'. Joe is in such a distressed mood that McEwan uses words of uncertainly to stress this: 'possible', 'perhaps', 'impression', and of course, the repeated question marks. Immediately after his string of paranoia and questioning, Joe refers back to their conversation, where the reader sees how clear the divide between Joe and Clarissa is as a consequence of their suspicions and thoughts. Joe attributes Clarissa's speech in retrospect: 'she said', 'she said', she had'. He does however mix in his retrospective thoughts which actually allow him to express his opinions that he earlier didn't. ...read more.

Conclusion

Here, we see the seemingly recurring theme of 'I know what you're thinking'. In earlier chapters, Jed knows what Joe is thinking, while Joe believes he knows what Clarissa is thinking and vice versa. Perhaps the most pivotal point in the chapter is Joe's distrust for Clarissa when he secretly looks through her desk for evidence. As 'cumulative blamelessness' mounts, Joe begins to question himself and is portrayed as a discontent character by McEwan. Linking to Jed's inner voice on his shoulder guiding him on what do to, Joe questions himself saying 'What are you doing in here? Trying to stain us with your poison! Get out!'. This irrational state where Joe is reprimanding himself is pivotal as McEwan presents a delusional yet psychopathic Joe who is beating himself up with inner distressing thoughts. The 'poison' emphasises that this 'self-persuasion' of vicious thoughts each character has is slowly destroying them and staining their true feelings as the characters restrict themselves from each other. Concluding, McEwan effectively writes Chapter 12 in Joe's retrospective thoughts of the previous morning to show his distress and the fact that this 'self persuasion' is slowly desolating the characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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