• 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...


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.


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.


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

    They are of the same social class, they study at the same school, know a lot of things about the others, have feelings connected with the others. It is important as well, that they know each other. In Mrs. Dalloway completely different characters are introduced.

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

    the rope first that he presented and escape by transferring all his guilt into the obsession of Jed. At the end how she always thought their love was the kind of love that would go on forever, and that perhaps it still would but she just didn't know t the moment.

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

    We instinctively want to know who the degree of separation between them will develop and what part Parry will play. The sub-plot is also used emphasise key issues in the main story.

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

    comfort and understanding of life, but perhaps on a more subtle level. This mirroring of the two characters needs is an ideal circumstance for questioning the whole idea of love and comfort, the ambiguity of the word love and just how McEwan presents the idea of love through his characters, and in particular Jed Parry.

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

    We can also see that Joe is good at analysing things from the way he tells us about the whole accident. Although he was totally involved in the accident but he was still able to stand back and being conscious enough to analyse during it.

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

    He also uses passionate language in his description; this allows the reader to connect back to his romantic scene with Clarissa, "...rushing towards each other like lovers". After this, McEwan abandons telling the story in past tense and switches to present tense temporarily, "What was Clarissa doing?"

  1. What is the significance of chapter 21?

    not belong with these people as he does not belong with Jed. An interpretation of this intimidation might also be to symbolise that Joe's, 'out of his depth'. Joe describes the fight between Xan and Steve romantically, this could be symbolising his conflict with Clarissa, and that he's thinking about it, "Wound over and under each other like lovers".

  2. At the start of the novel the narrator is represented to the reader as ...

    Any notion of scientific theories and cynicism that he has been applying to other passengers disappear when he sees Clarissa to leave pure joy. The vivid and picturesque description of the beautiful picnic scene reinforces the view that he is content but this contrasts with the sombre and resigned tone of the balloon episode.

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