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"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 ways in which your responses to this character are shaped throughout the novel."

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Amanda McCarthy "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 ways in which your responses to this character are shaped throughout the novel." The narrator Joe a construct/character is presented to the reader by McEwans use of language, structure, form and imagery which guides the responses of the reader in the direction McEwan wants to get them to feel the emotions he wants. The whole novel as a construct draws particular attention to the concept of Joes well ordered world to create an equilibrium at the beginning of the novel, so the changes in Joes ordered world are more prominent and have a higher affect of shaping the responses of the reader as the novel progresses. McEwan purposely set up lifestyle for Joe helps the readers understanding of the novel and characters, Joes world changes to correspond with other events and changes in the plot so as the reader responses are shaped by both. ...read more.


Part of this concept of the well-ordered world is also reflected through the order in Joe's personality, which is presented to the reader through McEwans language used in Joe's narration quotations such as 'Reassuring clarity' and 'we were in a state of mathematical grace.' Conveys aspects of Joes character not just the factors of his life (wealth and good education) it illustrates his personality to the reader how he is happiest when he has a good comprehension of his surroundings. He is reassured by his knowledge, as the chaos Jed brings him later in the novel takes away his logic thought and knowledge, consequently his personality and approach as a narrator changes (becoming more questionable of himself and over analytical) with a more desperate tone. Thus evoking a change in the reader's mood as they feel his desperation through the text. As Joes state of mind becomes more scattered so does the structure of the novel McEwan does this as the change in pace between chapters becomes apparent to the more analytical reader there responses also change. ...read more.


McEwans (Joes) overuse of scientific knowledge triggers responses in the reader as it can be somewhat annoying for a reader with limited knowledge of science. As although they can appreciate it is Joe's way of coping the extracts of scientific knowledge are overly long and have no direct link to the plot and a very indirect link to Joes state of mind at that point in time. Nevertheless, from further study of this it has become apparent that McEwan does this deliberately to insert his own views and to subtly give the reader more understanding of the themes of the novel, more understanding of the other characters (more apparent to the reader why Clarissa gets frustrated with Joe as the reader does). For example in chapter four Joes recollection of the Hubble telescope incident is McEwans way of reminding the reader of human error, memory and perception important factors that arise in the characters throughout the novel. The scientific recall is also important as the amount of these scientific explorations decreases throughout the novel as the Clarissas suspicion of Joe's obsession (madness) about Jed increases thus creating doubtful responses in the reader about Joe's sanity. ...read more.

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