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

Explore the waysin which McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love

Extracts from this document...


Explore the ways in which McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love The theme of obsession is found in many different forms in Enduring Love. McEwan uses language and the presentation of the characters to explore the many different types of obsession. The most obvious obsession in the novel is Jed's obsession with Joe. As a reader, we find this perhaps the most disturbing because of the intensity with which it is presented. At the opening of the novel, immediately after the accident, Joe walks down the hill to inspect Logan's body and is closely followed by Jed. McEwan uses language to great effect to convey Jed's obsession with religion and Jed's dialogue to show his eagerness to pray. 'I mean you don't have to believe in anything at all, just let yourself do it and I promise you, I promise.' The use of repetition and the word 'promise' shows Jed pleading with Joe and expresses his sincere beliefs. There is also a strangeness as Joe decides to tell Parry the harsh truth of his religion 'There's no one up there' 'Parry's head was cocked, and the most joyous of smiles was spreading across his face.' ...read more.


McEwan also presents Jed's obsession through the use of letters. These act rather like a soliloquy would and we are able to see the character of Jed without Joe's perception as the narrator. The letters are perhaps the most disturbing part of the obsession as McEwan reveals Jed's raw emotion. 'Joe, Joe, Joe....I'll confess, I covered five sheets of paper with your name.' The use of repetition emphasises Joe as the subject of Jed's obsession and the action of writing his name over sheet of paper is a sign of immaturity. 'Does it horrify that I can see through you so easily?' A rhetorical question appeals directly to the reader as we see events through Joe's eyes and reveal an insidious side to Jed's character. Jed's obsession with Joe prompts another fixation to arise; Joe's obsession with Jed. McEwan presents this through Clarissa and other minor characters in the novel. Clarissa has serious doubts concerning the veracity of Joe's paranoia. McEwan uses short simple statements from Clarissa to cast doubts in our minds about Joe. ...read more.


Joe's love of science and rationalising is more evident in the novel as he is the narrator. Descriptions are made using very analytical and scientific vocabulary and Joe relates everyday situations back to science. 'The ice bucket sat within a rhombus of sunlight' McEwan chooses to describe the light as a 'rhombus' as it highlights Joe's mathematical side. 'Two bands were entwined in a double helix'.......to suggest the twenty amino acids on to which the three letter codons were mapped' McEwan uses the brooch as an object to draw out Joe's analytical characteristics through the word 'double helix' and displays his knowledge of science. The theme of obsession is vital to the novel as a whole and permeates every aspect of the narrative. The obsession is used to invoke a response from the reader, particularly in the case of Jed and Joe as we feel repulsed and disturbed by Jed's language and feelings. We are also as readers, directly affected by Joe's love of science. It is evident throughout the novel since often Joe tries to rationalise his problems by making links to science. Finally, it is Jed's passion for religion that he justifies his obsession and Joe who fuels it. ...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. Evident throughout the entire plot of 'Enduring Love', Ian McEwan fuses three different genres: ...

    Ultimately creating a psychological state, Jed's illness of De Clerambault's syndrome not only effects Jed himself, "All I know is that I love you too now, and that there's a reason for it, a purpose" but it also effects the character of Joe as he becomes extremely frustrated and depressed

  2. Consider the presentation of Clarissa in the novel 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan

    An interesting way in which Clarissa is presented is by the strange similarities between her and Jed. She is having a relationship with Joe and appears to be in love with him. There is a parallel with her and Jed here and he believes he too is in love with Joe.

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

    Clarissa found her loveliest green dress and took it downstairs to mend. Lucy asked if she could help mend but Clarissa declined. Suddenly, the doorbell rang and she heard the voice of a man demanding to see her. Abruptly, her door opened and she turned to hide her dress, as if she were protecting her chastity.

  2. How effective do you find the opening to enduring love? What do you find ...

    This description is also used because it also shows how strange it must seem to the buzzard high above the ground unaware to the reasoning behind the movement of the men. It shows that the men are unorganised and unprepared for what is about to be thrust upon them they are just like animals running by instinct.

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

    He seems like a threat through Joe's eyes but intelligent through his own. In fact, in his creative whirlwind, he manages to make some insightful comments about Joe himself, such as labelling him as being in a "cage of reason", and highlighting his relentless faith in science with "that's why

  2. In what ways has Cunningham illuminated 'Mrs. Dalloway' in "The Hours"?

    Cunningham pushes his novel taking it to the next level from 'Mrs. Dalloway' by first of all using retrospective reading of 'Mrs Dalloway' to make the wrongs of the novel - right. An example of this is having Clarissa live with Sally in order to restore the repressed sexuality themes.

  1. "McEwan uses a variety of writing genre in the novel 'Enduring Love'. This mix ...

    was because of Jed Parry or if it was all just a figment of Joe's imagination. This uncertainty is down to the scrutinising questioning of Detective Inspector Wallace, a character who is very much stereotyped by McEwan in order to define the detective genre.

  2. Explore ways McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love

    McEwan presents this use of language in a very clever way to tell the reader this indirectly. Again so done with Joe "I was out... I wanted...I didn't care" This again show us Joe care about himself not Jed or even Clarissa.

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