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What is the significance of the endings of Enduring Love?

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Introduction

What is the significance of the endings of Enduring Love? The endings of Enduring Love hold important significance to the whole novel. The 'endings' refer not only to the final chapter, Chapter 24 but also to the appendices I and II. After reading the last chapter readers are bound to be left with the feeling of unfulfilment. The appendices, particularly the case study in Appendix I, provides a lot of resolution that is not given in that final chapter or any other chapter in the novel. The Appendix I is a case study reprinted from The British Review of Psychiatry, by Dr Robert Wenn and Dr Antonio Camia. It is a case study Oliver Burkeman (The Guardian reporter) proclaims to 'detail the terrifying real-life case on which the story is based'. It provides us with the case from which the book was apparently based upon and provides us with resolution as to where the narrative would continue to from the end of the last chapter. But the major significance of this is that the case study is infact false and the British Review of Psychiatry does not exist. ...read more.

Middle

As I have said before chapter 24 provides little resolution but it does hold a lot of significance. On the prospect of the novel the narrative enigma of Jean Logan's situation is resolved. On a symbolic level the end of the chapter seems very much like the end. It ends with a picnic as it has started with a picnic, completing a cycle and maintaining a balance in the narrative. Also the final scene is with Joe and Jean Logan's two children so the novel ends with a trio and trios have been a very common theme upheld throughout the narrative. So taking these things into consideration they signify a balanced end to the narrative. From here you believe the novel is over and when you see the appendix after you believe it to be a piece of information from our world when it is really a continuation of McEwan's narrative but just through a different narrative voice - ironically through the voice that the lead character has an obsession or even an 'enduring love' for; science. He uses this new narrative voice as an unlikely source of resolution. ...read more.

Conclusion

"I have to stop writing to hug myself" This quotation from his letter in appendix II illustrates his deranged state of mind to the reader and allows the to believe that all those crazy and illogical things he claimed Parry to be doing were infact true. So in conclusion, the significance of the ending of Enduring Love is that the ending is infact not the ending. McEwan's narrative does not end with the final chapter but it secretly extends into the appendices that follow. McEwan manipulatively uses them to allow us to believe that the narrative was based on a real life story aiming to provoke shock from the reader, while also providing us with resolution to the narrative. He finally does conclude his narrative with a letter from Jed Parry which readers will, based on appendix I, either believe to be real or based on a real letter. It also allows the reader to fully acknowledge the insanity and delusion in which the character exists. This actual ending of the novel is a very significant last voice as the image of Parry living in his insanity will leave a bearing impression on the readers mind knowing that people like this exist in their very own reality. Kumaran Saravanai-Prabu 12SMP ...read more.

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