• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

At the start of the novel the narrator is presented to the reader as a man who lives in a well ordered world. Examine the way in which your responses to the character are shaped up to and including chapter 15.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

At the start of the novel the narrator is presented to the reader as a man who lives in a well ordered world. Examine the way in which your responses to the character are shaped up to and including chapter 15. At the beginning of the novel, the author goes to great lengths to show the narrator as an intellectual, upper-middle-class and logical person. During the first chapter, we are exposed to the fact that Joe clearly enjoys the finer things in life. For example, the food he buys for the picnic and the present he buys for his lover, Clarissa. These items are obviously not things a working class person would buy. The fact that Joe leads this kind of lifestyle makes his downward spiral later in the novel all the more dramatic. We are also given our first glimpse into how Joe's mind works. At the airport, McEwan presents Joe as very analytical. This is a reflection of the work he does. ...read more.

Middle

Jed Parry's obsession with Joe brings out an interesting twist in how Joe behaves. This is most clearly demonstrated in chapter 4. During this chapter, the reader gets a sense of paranoia from Joe. This is a far cry from his earlier display of calm, cold, calculated rationalisation. The reader would not expect Joe to jump to the conclusion that Parry is following him without reasonable proof. Chapter 4 contains another moment that highlights the fractures in Joe's personality. "I couldn't help feeling as I pushed the jar closer to the railings where it might escape being kicked over again that it might bring me luck, or, rather, protection." Joe doesn't seem to be the kind of person who would be superstitious as it contradicts his whole profession as a scientist. Although we begin to see a new side to Joe, some of his old characteristics are still there. His insecurity, for example, seems to grow as the novel evolves. This puts a great tension on the relationship of Joe and Clarissa and threatens their "free and intimate existence". ...read more.

Conclusion

Finally, Joe displays yet another side to himself in chapter 14. He shows himself to be very apt at dealing with young children. He is able to talk to them rather than talk at them, and he clearly doesn't patronise them or talk down to them. This development is not entirely surprising, as Joe himself displays several child-like qualities, which may give Joe the ability to relate to the children. This is also very ironic, because the main thing that seems to be missing from Joe and Clarissa's relationship is a child, but Joe does not seemed as concerned as Clarissa does. McEwan presents the downward spiral of Joe very well. The fact that a vast majority of the readers will be able to identify with Joe's type of lifestyle and thinking makes his change all the more dramatic. McEwan is trying to show how thin the line between love and obsession really is. This is very disturbing to the reader, because love is at the centre of our culture. The different sides to Joe's character are very unpredictable and unexpected. This serves to further add to the dramatic tension of the character. Jake Wharton 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Ian McEwan section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Ian McEwan essays

  1. How does Ian McEwan commit the reader to the rest of the novel in ...

    As the novel continues McEwan introduces more scientific language from Joe, this continues a character insight. McEwan gives all the other characters involved courageous jobs, like a doctor, mountain rescue worker, and involvement with a paratroops regiment. Joe is involved in science, and this makes his character seem the weakest, less physically experienced.

  2. Enduring Love - by Ian McKewen - Discuss the changing relationship between Clarissa and ...

    How he wanted to talk about nothing else and was obsessed and how his obsession affected everything about then including their sex life. Joe even stated "self-consciousness is the destroyer of erotic joy" meaning once they had started to distrust each other it became hard to relax and feel comfortable enough to make love to each other.

  1. Compare Virginia Woolf"s novels Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves as the representatives of her ...

    The only principle which unites the novel together is the theme of passing time. As we have already said, both the novels deal with the time and inconstancy of it. In Mrs. Dalloway we perceive the memories of different people, their present life, the mingling of their lives and their hopes.

  2. What do you find interesting in McEwan's portrayal of Jed Parry?

    Indeed Parry's enduring love has become like "the viral spores invading [Joe's] home". Now much like Jed Parry's twisted view of God, our main narrator has lost his judicious perspective. Another parallel which may be drawn here is in 'Clarissa's' comment that that Joe's research rejections are his "protection from failure because they will never let him in".

  1. Why And How Does The Introduction Of The Sub-Plot Link With The Novel So Far?

    Joe's suspicions of an attack are aroused by letters from Parry. 'I wanted to hurt you. Perhaps even more than that.' It results in a shooting in a restaurant as Parry decides that if Joe cannot love him then he will not be able to love anyone else.

  2. Looking At The First Ten Chapters, Discuss What You Find Interesting In The Way ...

    "She is already wondering if she has gone too far." "They rarely row, Clarrisa and Jo" (chapter 9, page 85). By the end of chapter ten the reader can appreciate Parry's needy and desperate character, and this is prevalent though the language which McEwan uses in Parry's dialogue.

  1. Explore chapter 1 of Enduring Love and consider what it reveals about Joe as ...

    He then analyses that people usually use a down tone voice when they try to call out each other's names, but when it comes to old people calling their long time no see grandchildren, it often becomes a rising note.

  2. What is the significance of chapter 21?

    thinking it through or weighing up the options, but this contrasts this with the 'old' Joe as he's still analysing every situation and character scientifically, "But the marginal life was no longer original, the shortage of desirable possessions no longer a kind of lightness, and here came the universal message

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work