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Ian McEwan stated that in writing "Enduring Love" he wanted to create a novel of ideas. What are the most important concepts that he explores in chapters one to five of "Enduring Love"?

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Introduction

Ian McEwan stated that in writing "Enduring Love" he wanted to create a novel of ideas. What are the most important concepts that he explores in chapters one to five of "Enduring Love"? Enduring love is a novel, which explores many aspects of the human life and mind, some being: love, different perspectives, science and the human urge for story telling. These concepts are noticeably different and range for one extreme where feelings and emotions from the heart will take control to the other extreme where only facts and knowledge from the brain are used. This makes it an appealing novel to most audiences whether they are emotive or scientific. However which one is the most important? Firstly when exploring the theme of story telling it is noticeable that it is introduced to the reader right from the start. The ballooning accident is re-told to the reader by Joe Rose in a form of a flashback. The opening line, "The beginning is simple to mark," prepares the reader for the story about to be retold. It also makes them completely aware of a narrator who holds complete control over the plot. However this is simply the introduction to this theme as McEwan gently introduces it to the reader. ...read more.

Middle

They break from the storytelling but Clarissa cannot hold the peace and so she cries out " But oh God when he fell!" and Joes stands up "hurriedly to reach for a bottle of Beaujolais from the rack." I believe this could covey an image of excitement especially in Clarissa's tone of voice and how Joe rushes to get a bottle of wine. They like the drama of it all and they are making a bigger thing out of it especially by drinking wine, which suggests they are turning it into an occasion. They are making a drama out of their terror for comfort. The idea of a narrative being able to make sense of a situation is also shown through the concept of the importance of literature in science. Joe describes many scientists as using anecdotes and narratives to explain their scientific theories. "Using the highest methods of storytelling... Freud had staked his claim on the veracity..." Freud was one of the greatest thinkers of the 21st century but he used storytelling through his case studies. This shows that a wide range of people need narratives in order to express themselves. Science was used to make sense of the world but literature invaded this and became the "the dominant artistic form" "The theory was already in the textbooks... ...read more.

Conclusion

From the moment of his first encounter with Joe he is sure that he is in love with Joe. This love is a complete contrast to Clarissa's love for Joe that give the emphasis on the obsession in which Jed develops later on in the story. McEwan chose to write Enduring Love in the form of the first person narrator, which gives a limited perspective on things and the reader has to put all of their trust into Joe as they have to believe in the story he is telling. In conclusion I believe the most important theme in chapters one to five is the story making. This is because it helps the reader to see the whole extent in which the accident has affected Joe and Clarissa especially in the way they cling to the narrative for comfort and almost become addicted to it as Joe loses control. The story making is a representation of their emotions. Even though love could be seen as the most important theme I think it is only important in relation to the story as a whole not just the beginning as the reader as yet to see the development of Jed's love and the way it ruins the couple's relationship. The story making theme is introduced from the opening and appears all the way through chapters one to five, which shows that McEwan wants to keep bringing it up due to its importance. ...read more.

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