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How Important are the Appendices in the Novel? "Enduring Love" by Ian McEwan

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Helen Moth How Important are the Appendices in the Novel? "Enduring Love" by Ian McEwan is a modern day novel written and set in the 1990's. It is written mainly in the first person narrative, from the viewpoint of Joe Rose (the narrator). The novel is based around one event, a ballooning accident that brings two men together whether they like it or not. Throughout the novel there is one main plot, that of the "stalking" of Joe by Jed Parry. However there are two other sub plots, Joe and Clarissa's relationship and the relationship of Jean and John Logan. And also not as obvious is that of "who let go first?". This is referred to many times in the novel by Joe because he feels guilty for what happened. All of these plots are resolved within the appendices or the novel itself except one, we don't find out who was the first to let go of the rope. ...read more.


However as the novel progresses, we see this relationship diminishing before us. Clarissa feels she cannot trust Joe anymore after he goes through her personal letters. The relationship comes to an end when Joe buys a gun from Johnny B, even though he uses it and saves her and Jed's life, Clarissa is disgusted and feels she doesn't know who Joe is anymore. Towards the end of the novel, when Joe goes to see Jean Logan again, Clarissa goes with him. The readers are left with the hope that these two people who are seemingly meant for each other will get back together. We are left hanging do they get together?- or not? It is in Appendix one- the scientific conclusion, that the fate of this relationship is made apparent. Joe and Clarissa do get back together and they adopt a child. If we weren't told what happens to Joe and Clarissa we would not be satisfied with the ending of the novel. ...read more.


However appendix one it's written in the form of a scientifical report on a patient (Jed Parry). From this we get some things rounded up for us. Firstly, we are told in depth about de Clerambaults and Joe and Clarissa's relationship is resolved. Appendix two is a letter from Jed, this appendix Is also important because it proves that Jed really is ill, and that he still loves Joe. His love for Joe has endured! I think that the appendices are very important because not only do they confirm Joe's suspicions about Jed having de Clerambaults syndrome and give us a full understanding of the illness which is potentially the main theme of the novel, but they also give the title of the novel it's meaning. They show that two relationships that we may have thought finished actually endure. Joe and Clarissa get back together and adopt a child, Jed, three years after being admitted to a mental institute still loves Joe. ...read more.

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