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Discuss the Progress of Jed Parry’s Obsession and Joe’s Awareness of It In the First Four Chapters of the Novel.

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Introduction

DISCUSS THE PROGRESS OF JED PARRY'S OBSESSION AND JOE'S AWARENESS OF IT IN THE FIRST FOUR CHAPTERS OF THE NOVEL. McEwan introduces the character of Parry in Chapter 1 in the midst of a tragic event. Despite the seriousness of what happens in the balloon, the narrator provides crucial hints about Jed's significance, such as "even then he was more interested in me."? McEwan creates in Jed a character who is opposed to Joe in terms of his background and his beliefs. This helps to add to our interest in Parry as we follow the effects of their interaction on Joe's life. Our understanding of Parry's character is limited. We only see the character of Parry through Joe's eyes. This is a second-hand source but it shows significant changes in his character from fairly harmless to very dangerous. The reader is encouraged to accept Joe's views about the threat posed by Parry but we are provided with an alternative outlook in the views of Clarissa. ...read more.

Middle

The most significant insight into Joe being disturbed and aware of Jed Parry's intense interest or early beginnings of obsession was, "Everything, every gesture, every word I spoke was being stored away, gathered and piled, fuel for his obsession." All the little observations and thought of Joe's progressed and piled up, "He stood resting on his hips staring not at Logan, but at me. Even then, he was more interested in me." This was before Joe had even had a whole conversation with Jed Parry so you could say that Joe already had an idea and feeling that Jed was too interested and close to him especially in the situation they were in it is unexpected. The conversation between the two shows how Jed's obsession progressed further and Joe's awareness of this decreased. The description by Joe made you feel as if Joe was aware of Jed and felt uneasy but, "the voice gave it all away. ...read more.

Conclusion

"I'm holding back, delaying the information." The way in which the stalking storyline develops is crucial and McEwan employs techniques of writing which are commonly found in thrillers. In Chapter 4, suspense is built up in the library and then McEwan presents an anti-climax as no one is there. This also contributes to our emerging doubts about Joe's reliability as a narrator. The real danger, so it turns out to be is not the accident with the balloon which lands safely. At that moment the story is set for the breakdown of Joe's life. At the rope opposite him was a man named Jed Parry, a lonely, fanatic religious man, living off an inheritance. Jed Parry conceives a passion for him and penetrates into Joe's life with the telephone call at the end of chapter three. They are very contrasting as Joe has his rationality and science, Parry his faith. ...read more.

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