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Character Development In Mr Jed Parry.

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Chapter 20 Summary A second letter from Jed Parry to Joe handed to him in person when Joe returns from the Logan residence. The letter reveals that Jed has been reading Joe's published articles and he goes on to express his views on what he has read. Consequently he then recites most of his philosophies on religion, science, Joe's career and Joe himself. He briefly digresses on a school trip to Switzerland that he attended and finally Jed emphasises his hatred of being 'ignored'. Character Development In this chapter we learn a lot about Mr Jed Parry and our perception of him may well change by the end. Parry's mood and reasoning behind the letter have changed somewhat from previous writing and he now appears to have adopted a new found hatred for Joe from reading his articles and the phrase 'I hated you' appears often. He is also becoming gradually more frightening and is now continuously implying threats, some physical some not. There is what he said to Joe in the previous chapter and now little phrases that seem to empower Parry like 'you must never...' and 'take a swing at me - if you dare', (p138) the last statement almost taunting Joe. The most frightening statement of all, however, has to be a section of the letter where he tells Joe of the morning cap ride to his apartment. He says: 'I wanted to hurt you. ...read more.


He places an interesting slant on science hailing it as 'extended prayer' and he never appears ignorant to, nor does he deny science as Joe does religion. For instance when Jed takes the example of the primal soup and then asks, but who is the chef? More than anything though Parry is summed up in this chapter as a very lonely man whose only salvation has been religion and now Joe Rose. Ironically he says this of Joe, 'Your articles add up to a long cry of loneliness,' when in comparison to Parry he has (had?) everything. Jed's loneliness is then almost confirmed by his absolute hatred of being ignored. A person who his clearly been on their own for most of his life will develop a certain paranoia and fear of being perceived as insignificant, perhaps why he clings so tightly to God. Relationships Between Characters As before in Ch.11 Parry writes as if they were a couple having a great love affair and his constant notions of Joe gradually becoming aware of a love for Jed are quite simply ludicrous, 'I'm impatient for our life together to begin,' (p.137), 'I see Peace and time stretching out for us' (p.137). Jed also compares his view of their 'love' to an anecdote from his youth, where on a school trip his party were lead up a steep rocky hill to reveal a beautiful, serine, paradise (p.137) ...read more.


No message this time.' Also the way he reads Joe's articles, as if they are letters too him, testing him, insulting him (p.133) smells slightly of delusion, making us again think the lights are not all on upstairs. We also question weather or not Joe is deluded and if in fact Parry exists. He could just be writing these letters himself, especially when McEwan adds this to the end of the letter: 'But never, never try to pretend to yourself that I do not exist'. McEwan's Style This Chapter is written in the fixed time and it is the second occasion it has been used in the novel. As it is a letter it is essentially timeless; no-one knows when it has been written or in fact who it has been written by. For Parry, McEwan as in his other letter adopts his poetic, pleading lovey-dovey tone, but contrastingly adds sharp hints of confrontation, insult and even malice. Also in contrast to Ch.11 is the over all structure and purpose of the letter. It reads as if someone is desperately trying to preach what they believe to change another's mind and has hints of a 'poison pen letter' as opposed to his prior message, which was full of loving and happy imagery. I think this also the first time we learn Joe's full name (Joe Rose) a small example of how McEwan loves to drop in little details about the main characters throughout the novel. As for genre it is very hard to place on such an extract. ...read more.

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