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GCSE: Ian McEwan

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  1. Time is a major theme in Ian McEwan's 'The Child In Time'.

    The book does not even begin with the loss of Kate, as you would expect, but Stephen on a normal morning. He relates everything he sees to time, the passing of which is even more important to him than anything else. After all, 'the heartless accumulation of days, after the loss of Kate, has driven Stephen to deep depression, and endless thought. In his depression, he lives for Kate, the only purpose of his existence. This is how he knows he is alive, how he counts the days.

    • Word count: 2128
  2. How Important are the Appendices in the Novel? "Enduring Love" by Ian McEwan

    I feel that McEwan intends the ballooning accident to be looked at on a social level, that when one person or group slips in society, everyone falls, it doesn't matter who! Also if we did find out who let go first, it would take the focus away from the main plot. In terms of Joe and Clarissa's relationship, it starts by being very strong. This is shown in the very first chapter of the book when Joe and Clarissa share a reunion after she has been away working.

    • Word count: 828
  3. Why do you think that McEwan chooses to include the appendices after the plot of the novel was completed? - How far do you think that McEwan suggests that our lives are predestined for us? In the novel 'Enduring Love' - McEwan

    This is important as it backs up our first impression of Jed at John Logan's side, where he comes across as an obsessive, religious "bible basher": - "God has brought us together...you have a special need for prayer." This indicates how the compulsive and passionate faith Jed has is yet to be altered by his experience. In times of need and desperation a lot of people would question God's love for them, but Jed seems oblivious to God's role in life and the worship of him, he just sees him as a thing on which to concentrate his obsessive personality.

    • Word count: 1766
  4. "McEwan uses a variety of writing genre in the novel 'Enduring Love'. This mix of genre is one of the most significant and interesting features if 'Enduring Love'. By close reference to the text, explore the range and effectiveness of this mix."

    The setting is very idyllic, where "each leaf seemed to glow with an eternal light". This indicates tranquillity and peacefulness; therefore making the thought of it being a spot for someone to be killed even more surprising. However, by telling us about the "strong wind" the story is more believable and it allows us to slip into the roles of Joe, Clarissa and the other characters there. Throughout the novel, the three main characters, at some stage, play the role of the detective. Joe is most commonly the detective. The first example we get of this is when he thinks he sees Jed in the library: - "I was looking for a pair of white shoes, trainers with red laces.

    • Word count: 2331
  5. Many people believe that when reading a book written in first person narrative, it is an unreliable source. - Enduring Love by Ian McEwen

    To reinforce the events he shifts the perspective of the narrator to that of a buzzard. McEwen wants the reader to see things without Joe's biased opinion of the events. This section is more reliable because, although it is Joe's opinion of how the buzzard would see the event, it is detached and therefore would be believable. It is very difficult to believe all that Joe is saying, as the reader recognises that Joe already knows the ending. He is therefore able to use his knowledge of the ending within the rest of the account in order to add tension where he requires.

    • Word count: 1260
  6. Contemporary Writing Book Review – Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love ‘…a most lasting form of love’.

    As Joe reaches for the wine bottle, they hear an alarmed shout. He hurries toward the sound with others nearby to find a grounded hot-air balloon threatening to take off with a young boy trapped inside. 'We were running toward a catastrophe,' Joe notes retrospectively, 'which itself was a kind of furnace in whose heat identities and fates would buckle into new shapes.' Brought together by the accident, two men exchange words briefly, but fatefully: this moment is the catalyst for an obsession by the younger man, Jed Parry, for Joe.

    • Word count: 569
  7. Read this short passage and then consider the ways McEwan presents this “strange adventure” (the relationship of Jed and Joe) in the novel.

    As a reader, we trust our narrator, but McEwan has subtly encouraged us to doubt Joe. Joe's life is ultimately completely permeated by Jed Parry. Joe's mind is constantly reverting back to his situation with Jed, as well as being bombarded with letters and phone calls every day from him. Similar to the chapter written by Joe through Clarissa's eyes, McEwan uses Jed's contrasting narrative to alert the reader that there are many ways of viewing the "strange adventure", that Joe's narrative is not law.

    • Word count: 1197
  8. Clarrisa and Romantic Escape

    For Clarissa this better place is her true "father's house": heaven, the place of virtue and true sentiment away from a world of physical contracts and unendurable emotional crises. The near voyeuristic view provided by the epistolary narrative of the tragic quality of self-denial for a greater good prevails in Richardson's novel. Clarissa can no longer bear her society on neither the practical nor the personal level; and the reader must lay blame at the feet of both the Harlowe family and her "savior," Lovelace.

    • Word count: 1167
  9. What part does the theme of marriage play in Mrs. Dalloway?

    Just as Clarissa remarks,' her voice [is] wrung of its ravishing richness; her eyes not aglow as they used to be'. Clearly, Sally has lost much of her vivacity and discernment after being Lady Rossester. Clarissa, similarly, chooses to settle down with a 'sportsman, a man who only cared for dogs' and give up pursuing her dreams. After marrying, most women lost their independence and do things for the sake of their husband rather than themselves. Family and husband come before their own interest.

    • Word count: 684
  10. "Enduring Love". One of the first things we learn about Jed Parry is that he seems to be un-phased by the accident he had just witnessed

    We also learn that Jed is a devout believer and has a very strong faith in God. He is labelled by Clarissa early on in the book as a ?Jesus Freak? as he is the complete opposite to Joe who is a strong believer in science. Jed reveals his belief in God by asking Joe to pray with him, 'what we could do? is to pray together?? This demonstrates how Jed turns to God in his times of need and also advises it to Joe. Joe refuses to pray however ?Parry wasn?t giving up.? This is the first hint that we get of Parry?s very persistent and pestering personality.

    • Word count: 601

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