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How does Ian McEwan create interest & suspense in the opening chapter of "Enduring Love"

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Introduction

How does the writer create interest & suspense in the opening chapter? The opening chapter of any novel has to be effective in order to keep the reader interested and to keep them reading. The opening chapter of Ian McEwan's novel 'Enduring love' is one that is breathtaking. The narrator, Joe is a science writer and it seems he has a very rational way of thinking. He describes a clear and detailed account of events that he saw and experienced, many of which he describes using scientific terms. He is able to do this because of his scientific background and this in turn does create a lot anxiety. A lot of suspense and tension is created right from the start of the novel, in the first line, "The beginning is simple to mark." This line immediately makes the readers question, what exactly is "simple to mark"? This is also a very short sentence, which is used to give impact on the readers, and draws them in, making them want to find out more. ...read more.

Middle

Then it struck the balloon which ceased its innocent comical wagging and was suddenly stilled." This line reflects and emphasises the ruthlessness and sense of danger the wind brings and hints to the readers that something horrific is shortly about to take place. For most of the first chapter, Ian McEwan has got the readers drawn in as he very successfully builds up suspense to the main event. The writer hints several times throughout the first chapter that this 'mysterious' event is one that has had a great impact on his life. "This was the last time that I understood anything clearly at all." This adds to the curiousity of the readers making them want to read on more to find out what exactly has had this much affect on an individual. Again, the writer does this very effectively by teasing the readers and withholding vital information. " I was running towards it." "I ran faster." The length of a sentence can affect the style of writing and pace and this in turn has an impact on the mood of the reader. ...read more.

Conclusion

"...She laughed and said that I was the worlds most complicated simpleton." The oxymoron helps to emphasise this particular point because of the contradiction of the two words. Also by using such language devices throughout the novel, the writer keeps his writing interesting and keeps the readers enthralled. As he builds up the tension to this mysterious event, he gives the readers a Birdseye view of what's happening from the buzzard's perspective. This is very effective because the readers can look down on the situation and get a better image of what's happening. The idea of an event so overwhelming is present throughout the opening chapter as McEwan successfully uses various ways to build up tension and curiosity. Such an example is reflected through the line, "The transformation was absolute." To conclude, throughout the opening chapter Ian McEwan has used various techniques to captivate the reader's interest. The most clever and effective way in which he has done this is by withholding vital information. He has deliberately done this to engage and draw in the readers. Therefore he has created a craving for the readers through the opening chapter to the extent that the only way they are to be satisfied is to complete the novel. ...read more.

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