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One of the most provocative pieces of Ian McEwan-- Enduring Love.

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Introduction

One of the most provocative pieces of Ian McEwan-- Enduring Love introduces a new kind of re-evaluation and hidden conflicts of society and life, through a deliberate coherent, analytical narration. McEwan cleverly bridges different genres: psychological thriller and tragic love story into a novel of ideas that mirrors the world in a contemporary sense. A reunited couple, a bottle of wine following by a catastrophe begins Joe's report on a tale of chaos. The protagonist, Joe Rose, a scientific writer, and his wife, Clarissa who is a romantic literature professor witness the balloon accident, which causes a doctor's (Mr. Logan) life in the process of saving his grandchild. While Joe, one of the helpers hangs on to the rope, starts suspecting himself as the first one who lets go and causes his death, another helper, Jed Parry who suffers de Cl�rambault Syndrome comes along and insists praying together will help relieving his guilt. Although Joe refuses, his glances and looks only initiate Jed's obsession. The dreadful disaster recalls heartbreaking memory for the couple that are "unable to bear children." (31) When both of them are trying to bury their sorrow and fix up the loving relationship through love and sex, Jed intrudes their orderly life. First with numerous phone calls and messages, later, love letters and spying across the street, Jed is only anxious but never tired in revealing his infatuation to Joe who merely diagnoses his feelings through scientific and rational logic and theories which, indeed, fails him to make sense of his behaviour and Clarissa's ignorance and annoyance against his obstinacy to a stranger's craze. ...read more.

Middle

McEwan challenges such limits of artificial, imposed form and order, which are merely inventive structure out of reasons and logic and unable to reconcile with love and emotion, in order to prove its unreliability and inconsideration when Joe starts narrating in remorse. When dimensions of history and society conflicts are added to provide a wider scope of what McEwan seeks to reserve-natural tendency, and break down-standards, conventions, and mainstream culture that blind us from the natural, original world that is without artificial order-he also strengthens its effectiveness by asserting some fictitious appendices to show readers into the worlds of fiction and reality which often lie side by side. With great intensity of a thriller, Enduring Love explores society and culture through a psychological exploration of love and offers readers a new kind of re-evaluation. Joe is a scientist and has a rational way of thinking, and is also the narrator in this novel. He gives a clear and detailed account of events that he saw. His social status could be classed as being upper-middle class, clues to this is in the food he eats, "mozzarella," "black olives," "focaccia" and in the places he visits, "Convent Garden" and "Carluccio's," which you generally associate with the well-off. He describes the hot-air balloon using very scientific terms, "Helium, that elemental gas forged from hydrogen." His reaction to the accident is, that if he were in charge, he would have prevented it from happening, "I know if I had been uncontested leader the tragedy would not have happened." ...read more.

Conclusion

The difference here - which is essentially the defining difference between all commercial fiction and literary fiction - is the attention paid to language and detail. As he's running toward the balloon, Joe notices a man to his left, also running. He sees the man's car parked back on the road, and notices that one of the doors is open. Or were both doors open? The answer becomes crucial later. Jed insists that Joe is sending him signals, urging him to continue moving forward with their "love." But of course the signals are Jed's invention, or are they? As Jed's obsession invades the relationship between Clarissa and Joe, we see Joe interpreting the signals given off by Clarissa. But are they his invention, or not? How much of social interaction, after all, is dependent upon reading signals encoded in subtle movements and glances. This notion returns us to the ballooning incident, where Joe and the other men are forced to assess a volatile situation in an instant and act accordingly. As the title suggests, the novel is ultimately about love. But in the context of the novel "Enduring" plays both as adjective and verb. And there are many kinds of love here: Joe's love for Clarissa, and for science. Jed's love for Joe, and for God. And Clarissa's love for Joe, and for Keats. In the hands of a lesser writer these multiple threads would become tangled in unintelligible knots. Bur Mr. McEwan weaves them through the story beautifully. Together they create a compelling, powerful novel. ...read more.

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