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Analyse the breakdown of the relationship between Joe and Clarissa in Enduring Love by Ian McEwan.

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Analyse the breakdown of the relationship between Joe and Clarissa in Enduring Love by Ian McEwan The breakdown of the relationship between Joe and Clarissa stems from the balloon accident. Whether it be the trauma that follows, the subtle hints of knowing that nothing can be the same having gone through what they have together or be it that Parry brings about troubles throughout the entire the novel. 'I know I made my first serious mistake when I turned on my side and said to her "it was nothing. Wrong number. Go to sleep."' This is the very first time we see that the relationship is not how it should be. It's extremely different to the impression we as the reader were given at the beginning of the novel during the tranquil, loving walk though beech woods in the Chiltern Hills where Joe and Clarissa seem deeply in love. This quote does not doubt this fact - it does begin to put a new spin on things though. ...read more.


It is almost conformation for the reader. It also shows more of the relationship beginning to breakdown - mistrust from Clarissa. She disbelieves that Parry is actually harassing Joe like he claims. '"Clarissa, it was him!" "Don't get angry with me Joe."' First signs of and actual verbal argument between Joe and Clarissa and it is all based upon Parry. This unsettles the reader, as we are unsure of who to believe, as although we see the story from Joes point of view, when we break down and analyse what happens as the police do; '"has he made threats against your property?" "No" "or against third parties?" "No" "Is he trying to blackmail you?" "No"'. Why shouldn't Clarissa doubt him? Joe sacrifices his relationship so blatantly and carelessly the most, when Clarissa arrives home expecting love and comfort after a long and stressful day and is instead met with the ranting of a man possessed, 'All Clarissa wants to say is, where's my kiss? ...read more.


For his feelings of utter dislike for Parry not to have been reciprocated by Clarissa, he begins to suspect that something is not right, 'if my suspicions', by even having these suspicions he has broken the trust and bond that he and Clarissa have/had, and he continues further, to look through Clarissa's desk drawer, 'I pulled open the drawer in which she kept her recent correspondence.' But the end of the relationship comes when Clarissa iterates what both she and Joe know have been coming for a while, '"Joe, it's all over. It's best to admit it now. I think we're finished, don't you"', 'the next day she mover her things into that room'. The breakdown of this relationship is not particularly slow; it all starts through the appearance of Jed Parry. Whether this was meant to happen it is unknown, but the final quote mentioned above, is the real ending of the relationship for me. They may continue to live together even get beck remotely some of what they had, but it is never the same and shall never be the same for Joe and Clarissa. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This essay demonstrates a clear understanding of the relationship and how it deteriorates throughout the story; however what is missing is the full explanation of why the relationship goes downhill and how McEwan presents this in an effective and moving way in the novel.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 19/06/2013

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