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How Does McEwan Hook The Reader?

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Introduction

How Does McEwan Hook The Reader? "Beginnings matter. They always have. Middle's have no limits- they can scrunch up or they can sprawl. Endings may be left open, ambiguous, and incomplete. Never has a novel not begun. And if it doesn't begin right, the suspicion is that the rest of it won't be right either". "In an age of multiple choice and short attention spans, beginnings are more crucial than ever. To prevent readers drifting off, an author has to hook them quickly". A prime example of a great beginning is the first chapter of 'Enduring Love by Ian McEwan. Many regard this as the best introduction written for a modern novel. "Enduring Love" opens with a chapter so masterfully written, that the rest of the novel must inevitably disappoint. The standard of the opening is so high that in theory no other chapter will be able to compete with such brilliance resulting in an anticlimax, this must follow some kind of thermodynamic law of literature. McEwan achieves this greatly deserved acknowledgement by the way he hooks the reader almost immediately. His use of various techniques allows him to place the reader in a situation created by him. By doing this he has you, the reader, in the position he wishes thus creating an opening chapter so good it would be impossible to put it down. ...read more.

Middle

Once we get the buzzards' view McEwan than focuses in-depth on the characters, almost creating a cinematic view of them, thus enabling the reader to grasp the character in full. This method of describing characters allows McEwan to not only describe the characters in detail but also in a method that will not bore the readers as the idea of presenting them in a cinematic view enables the reader to continued to be focussed. The opening chapter of the book has different genres; first it starts out as a romance, when the narrator and his wife are picnicking, but then gradually turns into a thriller, men trying to keep the balloon down. It is this merging genres which keep the readers intrigued, by changing the genre the writer changes the events which are going to happen, keeping the reader on his toes and therefore suspense is created as the reader does not know what is happening next. Throughout the opening chapter there are odd statements scattered around such as "rushing towards each other like lovers, innocent of the grief this entanglement would bring", these statements are hints to the future of the plot. This yet again creates a sense of anticipation, not knowing what the author means by this encourages the reader to read on. McEwan uses delay and referring back techniques in this first chapter to hook the reader. ...read more.

Conclusion

He mainly achieves this success, by his vivid description of the accident. When many writers describe events they lose the interest of the reader however this is not the case in this opening, he projects the descriptions in a cinematic way so the reader can fully come to terms with the character and events therefore leading to a more in depth understanding. By projecting them in a cinematic way he is able to keep the readers attention. The addition of narrative techniques is vital in hooking the reader, and throughout the opening they are used a lot. If they were not used the opening may not have been as good as it is and therefore lack the ability to hook the reader. He uses delaying techniques to project the future of the plot, which give the reader questions to think about and to continue reading to find the answers. Another key feature of hooking the reader is the way he can present sentences, which can be interoperated in 2 different ways, for example the reader in foresight interoperates "fuel for long writers obsession" whilst for the narrator it is hindsight. This keeps the reader on their toes therefore making them concentrate and therefore become fully involved with the book. All of these techniques are used to create a great balance in the opening; together they ensure McEwan is able to keep the attention of the reader. ...read more.

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