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

McEwan, 'Enduring Love' - What does the novel have to say about love?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What does the novel have to say about love? The website Dictionary.com offers two main definitions for the word "love." The first describes it as, "A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness." The second, "A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance." The title, "Enduring Love," also has a double meaning. On the one hand is the more traditional, conventional understanding: that Joe and Clarissa's love endures the trials that befall it during the course of the book. The second meaning is the darker, more sinister meaning, the full severity of which unfolds throughout the book: that of Jed Parry's "enduring love" for Joe. McEwan makes a pun of the word "love" - on the one hand is the first definition, the "ineffable feeling of affection" between Joe and Clarissa. On the other is a "feeling of intense desire and attraction" which Jed feels for Joe. McEwan seems to be suggesting that love is not merely something to be celebrated in poetry and flowers, but also something to be feared. ...read more.

Middle

The happy ending we have all been hoping for - the proof that Joe and Clarissa's "enduring love" has withstood the test of Parry's obsession - comes as a throwaway comment in the Appendix. Here it is noted that whereas many victims of de Cl�rambault's patients will end up divorced or receiving psychiatric treatment themselves, "in this case [Joe and Clarissa��e] were reconciled and later successfully adopted a child." And so Joe and Clarissa's love has endured; they do live happily ever after. Joe is the object of the "enduring love" of two people. The first, that coming from Clarissa, he reciprocates and tries his best to reconcile when things go wrong. The second is that of Jed Parry. Jed's love for Joe is the mot dramatic form of love shown in the book, but it is unwanted and is not returned by Joe. From Joe's research - and later in the Appendix - we learn that Jed has de Cl�rambault's Syndrome. Starting with a brief glance at the scene of the accident and a short conversation when he follows Joe down to Logan's body, Jed is convinced that Joe is in love with him. He believes Joe is playing mind games, toying with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is, of course, right: Parry's love stems from mental illness. Joe describes de Cl�rambault's syndrome as "a dark, distorting mirror that reflected and parodied a brighter world of lovers whose reckless abandon to their cause was sane." It is disturbing to read the final paragraph of the first Appendix, which states that "the pathological extensions of love not only touch upon but overlap with normal experience, and it is not always easy to accept that one of our most valued experiences may merge into psychopathology." In Enduring Love McEwan uses de Cl�rambault's syndrome to show another view of love, one that is an extreme, out-of-control version of an ordinary human emotion. His use of the contrast between Joe and Clarissa's normal relationship struggling against the pressure of Jed's irrational, unwarranted affections towards Joe, is quite dark. It causes the reader to question the commonly held view of love, and the line between "normal" and "insanity" becomes hard to draw. Most love is characterised by irrational and illogical gestures, but Jed's irrational and illogical gestures are disturbing and quite scary for Joe. Many people dream of an everlasting love, but he has no choice. He has to endure Parry's love until it almost kills him, Clarissa and their relationship. Vicky Charles 5 ...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. Explore the waysin which McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love

    McEwan uses the motif of love to express Clarissa's obsession with literature, in particular Keats. McEwan demonstrates this during the accident. 'She told me how a scrap of Milton had flashed before her: Hurl'd headlong flaming from th'Ethereal.' It is unusual and shows a love of subject that Clarissa would be able to relate a terrible disaster to literature.

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

    scared of finalisation even though in the back of her mind she feels the relationship is at breaking point. She could also be being presented as someone who does not give up easily on something that means a great deal to her.

  1. Compare Virginia Woolf"s novels Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves as the representatives of her ...

    All the feelings of the character connected with the situation described, all the shades of colors, all the smells of nature etc. She knows how to get into the soul of character. Her manipulation of language is extraordinary. It is very interesting how she uses parataxis in her works.

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

    pictured that he was the cause of the stop and anticipated horror. His wife, Lucrezia (Rezia), hurried him, angering Septimus. She could not help but believe that others noticed his strangeness, his abruptness. She was so embarrassed and imagined that they all knew that Septimus had wanted to kill himself.

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

    disastrous in many ways because even the title 'The Hours' reminds us that life is brief and short-lived and opportunities must not be missed. In his novel, Cunningham mimics and illuminates Virginia Woolf seventy years after 'Mrs. Dalloway' and innovates his own characters by using her structure.

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

    Sex is quite a major feature of this: - "She caressed my balls...kissed my belly...we'll have to love each other even harder." This rather graphic description of their love shows how intimacy is very important to them. It shows their love as being very intense.

  1. Enduring Love - by Ian McKewen - Discuss the changing relationship between Clarissa and ...

    Clarissa is trying to have a relaxing bath alone, as she knows Joe is in no state to 'look after' her but he wont stop going on. Joe on the other hand just wants Clarissa to listen and talk to him about Jed and see that there is someone stalking him.

  2. Explore ways McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love

    McEwan shows this through the title. From the start the reader see that this book want be about a happy ending or about romantic love but about an "Enduring Love" It can also be explored that there may be another theme of obsession of love.

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