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What is the significance of science in Enduring Love?

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What is the significance of science in Enduring Love? Science is a significant theme in Enduring love. It is shown in aspects of Joe's private thoughts; his discussions with Clarissa; in explaining behaviour; Jed's letters to Joe; and the appendix. Science contributes to character development, exploration of ideas, and the plot. It affects Joe, and others by their relationship with him. As Joe is the narrator of Enduring Love, the reader is introduced solely to his private thoughts. His thoughts are particularly scientific and rational; this gives depth to his character, creating interest for the reader. Science contributes to emphasising his struggling relationship with Clarissa, and his personality clash with Jed. Science used in Joe's private thoughts also shows how his mind works and deals with pressure, contributing to character development. Joe expresses his emotions through science, a flaw in his character, allowing the reader to sympathise and empathise with him. An example of this is when John Logan falls from the balloon to his death, Joe uses scientific language to describe the incident, blocking out his emotional involvement, "I still thought there was a chance that a freak physical law, a furious thermal, some phenomenon no more astonishing that the one we were witnessing would intervene and bear him up". An example of character recognition of this is when Clarissa suggests Joe wrote the letter to himself, and the problem with Jed is inexistent, "Looks like your writing". ...read more.


Science is included in the novel in the form of explaining behaviour as well. Science attempts to explain behaviour by using scientific theories. For example Joe uses Darwin's theory to describe all the people entering the airport, "If one ever wanted proof of Darwin's contention that the many expressions of emotion in humans are universal, genetically inscribed, then a few minutes by the arrival gate in Heathrow's terminal four should suffice". Joe relates everyone to science; he thinks you can categorise everyone and their actions into different theories. This adds to his character development further linked to his private thoughts and discussions with Clarissa, as we know he is well educated and a rational character. It is in Joe's character to relate everything to science; this is because it's the only thing he knows, and his dominating passion. For example he blames Jed's obsessive condition not on unrequited love, but on a medical condition, "He's obsessed. He simply won't leave me alone". He often compares past and present, "It was the nineteenth century culture of the amateur that nourished..." This could be a reflection on his character of being one whom is absorbed in the past, and consequently regretful, an example of this is his regret for his lacking profession. "The trouble with Joe's precise and careful mind is that it takes no account of its own emotional field", this emphasises Joes lacking ability to relate emotions to his own behaviour, and has no way of expressing himself. ...read more.


The language is very scientific establishing the seriousness of Jed's illness, and representing professionalism. The language is also very impersonal and lacks emotions, very much like Joe Science is very significant in emphasising character development, the plot, and allowing the reader to explore different ideas throughout the novel. Science is revealed primarily through Joe, the narrator of the novel. He introduces science in his private thoughts, discussions with Clarissa, and by explaining behaviour. Science is emphasised to being present by the language and content of verbal communication used. Scientific language emphasises the science present as it shows the character is well educated in science and is passionate about it. Using scientific theories also shows Joe to be well educated and thoughtful, and using their scientific knowledge in everyday circumstances. Joe uses scientific language to shield any of his emotions, and effectively describes situations. Scientific language also effectively represents the atmosphere to the reader, allowing empathy. Science is structured into the novel mainly through Joe, this is to emphasise his unique thoughts, and creates juxtaposition between him and other characters, identifying this clearly to the reader. Science is also a structural dramatic devise to distract the reader from knowing Joe's true thoughts, leaving it up to the readers. Science is, in addition, constructively used to show how it affects the characters lives. It creates friction between Clarissa and Joe, as he cannot express himself emotionally, it creates a divide between Jed and Joe by their different beliefs, and also affects Jed, as he is mentally unstable, which results to medical care. Lucy Atwell 07/05/2007 English Ms. Buggins ...read more.

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