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

By what means does McEwan simultaneously present Jed as a menacing character and introduce doubts into the reader's mind about the danger Jed apparently represents?

Extracts from this document...


By what means does McEwan simultaneously present Jed as a menacing character and introduce doubts into the reader's mind about the danger Jed apparently represents? McEwan uses a number of literary devices to present Jed's character. Probably the single most important one is his use of a first person narrator, Joe. The author invites us to consider whether Joe, and his perception of Jed, can be relied on. Through Joe's account of Jed and his behavior, we learn that Jed is a menacing character. The first incident that shows this is in the aftershock of the balloon incident. When there is a brief encounter between Jed Parry and Joe, when Parry wants them to pray, but Joe thinks little of it at this point but to the reader this seems strange. Especially when Jed says, "God has brought us together" and persistently insists that Joe pray with him. Joe describes Jed's behavior from hindsight and at the time Jed seemed excited, but no-one could have guessed to what extend and certainly not Joe at this point although Joe does notice that Parry seems rather odd, as he tells us "Even then, he was more interested in me". ...read more.


This incident really defines Jed's character as menacing and possibly dangerous. The way McEwan introduces doubts into the readers mind about the danger Jed apparently represents is by having an unreliable narrator in Joe. The reader is only reading Joe's viewpoint, which is slightly limited because we then do not know what Clarissa and Jed really feel and think. Joe's unreliability also defines Jed's character in an objective way. As the reader Joe's account of events they get to learn a lot about the way he thinks and feels. Therefore, they soon know that Joe is a rationalist and this can put doubts in the readers mind that Joe is reliable. As for example when he is recalling the balloon incident because he is rational he maybe taking things too seriously and. In addition, when Joe thinks Jed is watching him in the library because he sees the white trainers with red laces as he did on Jed at the balloon incident. He may be unreliable because he feels unease even before, and when, he thinks he sees Jed, which maybe incorporated because what happened the day before and his feelings of guilt or because of fear of Jed after the phone call. ...read more.


"I already know a lot about your life. I've made it my job. My mission." Jed tells us in his letter showing the reader that he is completely obsessed with Joe in an unhealthy way. This obsession does pose a danger because at the moment nobody knows how far he will take it. From Jed's letter the reader can tell that Jed thinks he is in love, although these feelings are directed through powerful religious believes. In conclusion, the means McEwan uses to present Jed as a menacing character are an perhaps unreliable narrator giving his account of what Jed says, does, Jed's behavior and Joe's own personal views and feelings about Jed. Which successfully build up Jed's menacing character by making each incident more weird and scary so that Jed seems to become more dangerous as his obsession grows. Also, by using Joe's reactions to Jed's behavior and to Jed's letter. And by using Jed's' letter to broaden our viewpoint and let us see what Jed is really thinking and if he really represents the danger Joe apparently think he does, which confirms Joe's account. ...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. 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.

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

    Another interesting fact that is typical for many Woolf's novels is the lack or the absolute absence of the plot. The principle of organization of Mrs. Dalloway is created by events that Clarissa experiences in Westminster and West End. Chance meetings of various characters are important.

  1. Character Development In Mr Jed Parry.

    After reading this chapter we get a clearer picture then ever before of Jed Parry, beginning to understand him a bit more and making certain assumptions about his personality. He does come across as a very intelligent man (most literary loons are, Hannibal Lecter, Jack the Ripper etc.)

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

    In his words he is a "messenger" of God. This purpose becomes clear at the balloon accident where he uses God as a justification for his attraction to Joe, therefore making it appear that "he was looking...like a man blessed with love". Claiming that they have "come together for a purpose...to bring [Joe] to God", the obsessive nature of

  1. At the start of the novel the narrator is presented to the reader as ...

    At first glance, he seems to be very self-confident, almost pompous. "I know if I had been uncontested leader the tragedy would not have happened." But if we look closer, we see this isn't the case at all. When describing himself, he says himself to be "balding" and "clumsy".

  2. Part I Section One Summary (page 1-13,

    Note how the second exclamatory sentence ends with the word "plunge." Other imagery at the beginning of this section adds to the feeling of jumping into a pool of water. Clarissa thinks of opening French doors and bursting into the fresh, morning air.

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