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Read this short passage and then consider the ways McEwan presents this “strange adventure” (the relationship of Jed and Joe) in the novel.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Dear Joe, I feel happiness running through me like an electrical current. I close my eyes and see you as you were last night in the rain, across the road from me, with the unspoken love between us as strong as steel cable. I close my eyes and thank God out loud for letting you exist, for letting me exist in the same time and place as you, and for letting this strange adventure between us begin." Read this short passage and then consider the ways McEwan presents this "strange adventure" (the relationship of Jed and Joe) in the novel. Ian McEwan uses many ways to present the unusual idea of the relationship between Jed and Joe to the reader. The extract raises many issues; love and religion important; how is this "strange adventure" perceived by the different characters of the novel? McEwan employs narrative technique, structure and careful manipulation of the reader to offer the strange relationship to the reader. Unusually, we hear the story from Joe's point of view. Throughout the novel the reader has become attached to Joe, relating to his realistic and human instincts, his feelings of awkwardness and hope, and his faith and reliance on science. ...read more.

Middle

A symptom of the syndrome is to belief that events have happened that have not, and to make things up in favour of the beloved one's love for themselves. Joe then demonstrates in the library scene that he is unconsciously doing the same thing. From the glimpse of white shoelace he instantly assumes it is Jed Parry following him. With no hard evidence at all, Joe has jumped to a conclusion fitting to his suspicions. The parallels presented between Joe and Jed are a strange aspect of the adventure they both undergo. For both Jed and Joe, the adventure brings hardships and joys. Joe's marriage with Clarissa begins to breakdown. This is due to Joe's initial, understandable mistake of not telling Clarissa, leading to a complete disintegration of communication between them. Jed is described as looking "tortured" because Joe will not openly reciprocate his love. Joe eventually feels everyone is against him, not being able to rely on Clarissa or the police for help; "I knew that I was on my own" There is also no one save Joe that understands Jed's behaviour due to his condition. ...read more.

Conclusion

When using the gun for the first time, the reader may notice that Joe gives no more "elaborate...evolutionary perspective". He is no longer predictable and quantifying. This stresses how the experiences have altered him. McEwan makes the novel feel like a real adventure, with an unusual and interesting plot. Suspense is created throughout the novel. McEwan has a digressive style of giving away a little and then making the reader wait to hear the conclusion. Chapters nearly always end on a surprising note, Jed's phone call and Clarissa's admittance that "it's over". Joe's narrative is sometime vague and we do not trust him completely. It is all told with a slightly regretting and inevitable hindsight; "knowing what I know now..." The plot eventually leads to Joe getting a gun and we wonder; "You're going to kill him. Is that what you want?" We are intrigued to see how it will all end and become part of Joe and Jed's adventure. There are many ways in which McEwan presents the "strange adventure" making full use of narrative and the ever-questioning human mind. He gains mastery over the reader simply through his unique and clever use of structure and descriptive techniques. McEwan is very successful in presenting the aspects of his novel "Enduring Love". ...read more.

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