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Compare and contrast the presentation of Joe and Jed up to the end of chapter 12 in 'Enduring Love'.

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Introduction

ESSAY: Compare and contrast the presentation of Joe and Jed up to the end of chapter 12. Joe Rose and Jed Parry are two of three main characters in 'Enduring Love'. McEwan presents the two characters in many similar ways, as well as differently. From the beginning of the novel, the reader learns a lot about the personalities and traits of the characters, through Joe Rose's speech and thoughts (as he is the first person narrative) and through Jed's speech and actions. McEwan's presentation of the two men changes throughout the chapters in the novel. From the very beginning, we learn that Joe Rose is a 'complicated simpleton', a very rational man, who has a love for science, evident through his scientific jargon and language and the accuracy of his descriptions and accounts of events. "... Barely a neuronal pulse later came other thoughts in which fear and instant calculations of logarithmic complexity were fused." (Chapter 1) Jed on the other hand is a very passionate man... passionate about religion, and also about Joe's acceptance of religion. McEwan vaguely presents Jed in the beginning of the novel, in chapter 1 as more of his character is revealed in chapter 2. Jed is physically, merely described as: "He was twenty-eight, unemployed, living on an inheritance in Hampstead". ...read more.

Middle

God that he has to convert Joe, or at least get Joe to acknowledge God, and even accept the love from God, and the love that Jed has too. "The scales tipping, from altruism to self-interest..." As previously stated, Joe has moments where he is unsure of himself, doubting his capabilities not only as a scientist, but also a lover to Clarissa, he clearly admits in chapter 6 that he 'feels like a mental patient'. "I felt like a mental patient at the end of visiting hours. Don't leave me here with my mind." (Chapter 6) "I opened the door feeling slightly mad." (Chapter 7) This quote uncannily sounds so much like Jed Parry, that it wouldn't be expected from Joe. After all, Joe was supposed to be the opposition, the man who rejects everything that Jed throws at him, whereas in this powerful quote, we realise that as time progresses and as Joe is left with his mind, to contemplate and come to conclusions about Jed, the more he becomes like Jed in his thoughts. Jed also things that he is going mad to a certain extent, with his exclaims of "I know this gives you power over me, but there's nothing I can do about it." ...read more.

Conclusion

In chapter 12, Joe shows Clarissa the letter that Jed has written him, and she makes comments on the similarity between Joe and Jed. We also learn that Clarissa is unsure of Joe's sanity, and whether he's making this all up or not, whether Jed is just a figment of his imagination. "His writing's rather like yours". "I didn't trust myself" (Joe) Joe and Jed are presented in various ways, with similarities and differences. Themes of binary opposition are featured and focused on throughout the whole novel. Stalker & Victim, obsession, science V religion, love, guilt, altruism and other themes are evident through the way the characters behave and interact with each other. At face value, it may seem as though there is nothing similar about Jed and Joe, that they are two very different people with two different morals and principles, especially one being an atheist, and the other a believer in God. However, once the characters are analysed and scrutinised, we learn that there are slight and subtle similarities between them. Both have a love in their life: Joe - Clarissa and science, and Jed - God and Joe. They also have obsessive natures within them. It is then interesting to try and pinpoint where the "Enduring Love" lies, and who is included in this love. Ms. Essery ENGLISH Michelle Castillo Homework November 24, 2003 ...read more.

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