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Looking At The First Ten Chapters, Discuss What You Find Interesting In The Way The Writer Presents The Character Of Jed Parry

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Looking At The First Ten Chapters, Discuss What You Find Interesting In The Way The Writer Presents The Character Of Jed Parry McEwan uses a variety of literary devices and language techniques to present the character of Jed Parry. In the first ten chapters of 'Enduring Love,' we see the gradual character delineation of Parry, where McEwan drip-feeds the reader with short physical descriptions and gives snippets of Parry's actions, placed purposely at crucial points within the plot. Within his presentation of Parry, McEwan also uses the unreliable narrator (Jo) extensively, as a means of presenting Parry from an extremely biased viewpoint which essentially influences the readers' opinions of Parry to be similar to those of Jos. McEwan, quite deliberately, takes the idea of the story being told in hindsight to manipulate the readers' understanding of the character. On an overview, Parry can be seen as being a religious messenger who uses love and religion in a symbiotic way to address Jo's religious conscience, and this is presented quite clearly by McEwan, but there are other aspects to Parry's character profile which McEwan wants to portray an these should not be overlooked. This first description of Parry is given by Jo and seen in chapter one (page 13). "He was twenty-eight, unemployed, living on an inheritance in Hampstead. This is the first bit of information about Parry drip-fed to the reader by McEwan, and is a rather simplistic, non-telling description. ...read more.


" Parry's obsessive tendencies are a fundamental idea presented by McEwan and they grow immensely throughout the first ten chapters of the novel, with Parry stalking Jo, witing for him for hours outside his apartment etc. Parry is presented as being an obsessive through his dark and curious actions which could categorize the novel in the thriller genre, for example Parry's phone call to Jo late at night whilst he is in bed with Clarissa. "The light had been out for five minutes when the phone rang..." "I had already recognized the voice." (End of chapter three). Parry's role within the novel is not just to play 'the obsessive' and to move the story along, but McEwan presents him as being a catalyst on a number of levels. The most noticeable understanding of Parry being a catalyst is the fact that he speeds up Jo's queries on religion, sanity/insanity and other sole-searching topics. With McEwan giving Parry the ability to approach Jo when he is in mentally vulnerable situations such as when he is totally paranoid about Parry stalking him, it means that Parry can speed up Jo's thought processes more quickly whilst also speed up Jo's insanity. "Don't leave me here with my mind" (page 58). In this case, McEwans portrayal of Parry as a catalyst is extremely effective and logical. However McEwan presents Parry's catalytic abilities on another, more subtle occasion in the novel and this is his indirect effect on Jo and Clarissa's relationship. ...read more.


Secondly, McEwan's presentation of Parry's desperation for a relationship can also relate metaphorically to the reader; the reader, because of the nature of the novel, wants to find sense and understanding in the novel, almost a sensible relationship with it, but finds it hard because of the stumbling blocks which are placed in the way such as Jo's confusion and the random time-shifts etc. So in this particular instance, McEwan presents Parry as being a character holding many metaphorical messages and a character who himself is in need of a loving and understandable relationship. The question is, is god enough to fulfil Parry's needs? Another interesting presentation of Parry is the way that McEwan uses detailed and intricate description of movement so that the reader can truly get a sense of the characters physicality at the point of various emotions. "leaned back against the tree," "hooking a thumb into his trouser pocket," "staring at his feet." * having little importance at the beginning of the novel, but as his name is mentioned more regularly, the reader can understand his extremely important role in Jo's life. This importance is also presented through McEwan's forewarning of Parry's obsession with Jo seen also in chapter two. "Had I known what this glance meant to him at the time, and how he was to construe is later and build around it a mental life..." ...read more.

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