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Why And How Does The Introduction Of The Sub-Plot Link With The Novel So Far?

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Introduction

Why And How Does The Introduction Of The Sub-Plot Link With The Novel So Far? The introduction of the Mrs Logan sub-plot helps to emphasise and create parallels with the main story. The sub-plot appears after the argument between Clarissa and Joe. The dispute between has started to place the seeds of self-doubt and guilt in Joe's mind and McEwan carries these feelings into the sub-plot. 'I don't trust myself, was what I thought. Not since my attack on Clarissa's privacy' McEwan uses these feelings to put across the seriousness of the 'crack of estrangement' between Clarissa and Joe. 'Rational' Joe is trying to reason with himself and create some sort of order with his guilty conscious. McEwan links these feelings with John Logan and his family. 'What I was thinking of again as I pressed the doorbell was that stapler, and how dishonestly we can hold things together for ourselves' This shows McEwan bringing together separate events under the same banner of guilt. ...read more.

Middle

Jean Logan is convinced that her husband was having an affair before he died. 'He was going to have a picnic with her. Somewhere in the woods.' This suspicion can also be found between Joe and Clarissa. Clarissa has doubts of about Joe's supposed pursual by Parry. 'The suggestion that it is he who is obsessed by Parry appears so monstrous to Joe that he can think of nothing else to say but 'Christ'.' Joe reacts to Mrs Logan's flood of emotion with the conclusion 'this was a theory, a narrative that only grief, the dementia of pain could devise'. Mrs Logan had taken facts and twisted them into her own personal truth. McEwan chooses to emphasise Joe's hypocrisy in that he may have contrived his own 'truth' concerning Parry. As reader, this causes us to once again, raise the question of Joe's reliability as the narrator. McEwan also develops the motif of love. We can identify obsessional love, sexual and romantic love and during the sub-plot a destructive, explosive love is introduced. ...read more.

Conclusion

McEwan chooses to draw parallels between the characters and their situations. This technique helps to make these issues seem more believable as reader and cause us to reflect upon them, particularly concerning the question of Joe's reliability as a narrator. We can observe similarities between Mrs Logan's imaginings of an affair and Joe's obsession with Parry. This is why the line 'this was a theory, a narrative that only grief, the dementia of pain could devise' is so shocking and ironic as Joe is clearly being hypocritical. In conclusion, it seems that McEwan has spun the sub-plot so carefully to fit with the main story that it has become contrived, possibly unbelievable and damages the book as a whole. However, more importantly, McEwan has used the sub-plot to great effect, using it outline key issues raised and making the novel as a whole more believable because we can see similar character traits displayed in the sub-plot as in the main narrative by Mrs Logan. Equally, it enables us to examine Joe's reactions to other characters other than Clarissa and Parry and gain a better understanding of Joe's character. ...read more.

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