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AS and A Level: Ian McEwan
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Enduring Love by Ian McEwan How important are the Appendices in the novel? The opening of a novel is vital, as it sets the foundations for the story to come.
The Appendices are vital to this novel because most readers like a happy ending. Appendix 1 concludes the story assuring that "R (Joe Rose) and M (Clarissa Mellon) were reconciled" and because Clarissa is infertile they "successfully adopted a child" making their lifetime dream of starting a family come true. This is important for the reader, because without the appendices they are left wondering what the outcome is of the relationship. After Joe shot Parry, there were no "kisses and tears and conciliatory murmurs and words of forgiveness and love", Clarissa did not jump into his arms and forget about everything that had happened and Joe was left in acceptance that "perhaps [they] really were finished".
- Word count: 1491
'Enduring Love' McEwan First chapter anlaysis essay 'Enduring Love' opens with the narrator reflecting back on what is referred to as "the beginning
McEwan almost teases the reader, requiring them to read on. By page 3, when McEwan uses the word "catastrophe", we know that some kind of tragic event is imminent over which we have no control - it starts to feel like a bad dream. The author/narrator then goes on to build up the suspense and tension over the next 14 pages.
- Word count: 576
This shows the reader how Joe is very educated and interested in science. However he also shows a very opposite side of himself from science which is very factual and organised, this is love. His love for Clarissa shows through how McEwan has written this character; "a beautiful woman loved and wanted to be loved by a large, clumsy, balding fellow who could hardly believe his luck" and how later on in the book when Jed phones up and tells Joe that he loves him Joe doesn't tell Clarissa because he didn't want her to become involved.
- Word count: 1121
Roger's shady character and his weird story about how his father was very strict and how his jealous sisters made him eat chocolate so that he would get into trouble with his father along with other things should have kept Mary and Colin away. Stories like this one, which require the reader to suspend disbelief as the actors venture further and further into the abyss are extremely hard to pull off, so it's not surprising that McEwan doesn't quite manage it.
- Word count: 622
This point is emphasized in the fact that it takes three chapters for us to find out that Harry Gadd came down safely. He is presented to us as a very imaginative, deep thinking character, which we can see by the way he takes up different perspectives on events - e.g. 'the buzzard'. He tells the narrative in retrospect, which allows him to craft the narrative to his desire by switching backwards and forwards on his thoughts giving the reader a wider picture.
- Word count: 1231
'I can confirm that Appendix I of Enduring Love is fictional, based on the novel that precedes it rather than the other way around' admits the author, Ian McEwan. He has set this up so manipulatively that the two supposed authors of the British Review of Psychiatry, Dr Robert Wenn and Dr Antonio Camia are fictional and whose surnames together is fascinatingly an anagram of Ian McEwan's name. McEwan's use of psychiatric lexicon, quotes and overall format all have been used expertly into fooling us to believe that this is a real scientific case study.
- Word count: 1235
Personification is used especially to denote the power that nature possesses to cause the outcome of the event: "the wind that roared" - the reader receives an image of a lion or a tiger because it is the sounds of fierceness and anger. There is a contrast between the peaceful setting in the beginning "sunlight" and how it has adjusted dramatically to change the mood of the story by the use of pathetic fallacy. A sense of omniscient writing from the author is familiarised "through the eyes of the buzzard"- it draws our attention towards an image of a bird "soaring", "circling".
- Word count: 1509
McEwan uses many writing techniques that all contribute towards the effectiveness of the opening chapter. The use of great suspense and nail biting tension are used right from the very beginning of the novel, in the first line, "The beginning is simple to mark," which leads you question he use of 'The beginning' and intrigues you to read on. The beginning of what exactly? This short sentence technique is used to draw the reader in and leaves you curiously wanting to read more, by only giving select and vague detail. McEwan also creates much tension in the premiere chapter, "partly protected from a strong, gusty wind," which describes the wind as being an unpredictable, natural force which together conveys a sense of urgency.
- Word count: 855
'I close my eyes and thank god out loud for letting you exist.' From this quotation we can see that in this part of the letter Jed is thanking his god for Joe being on this planet, this for the reader sends out signals to them which indicates that Parry is a bit of a weirdo and obsessed little child. But why is this? Maybe he feels he needs the human closeness because he has no one, or is this maybe sexual obsession.
- Word count: 1133
The narrator, who we later find out to be named Joe, withholds important facts and information from the start of the chapter to create apprehension and will power towards readers to carry on reading, and to discover those missed out significant facts "The encounter that would unhinge us was minutes away" is a prime example of such narration. "This was the last time that I understood anything clearly at all" is another form of tension as readers get the impression that what is about to happen next is life changing and feel the urge to, again, continue reading.
- Word count: 975
The narrator tells us "The transformation was absolute" This leaves the reader asking 'what transformation?' and 'absolute in what way?' Obviously, the reader has to read on to find out the answers, a good technique to engage interest and curiosity. Another question McEwan keeps the reader thinking about is 'What are they running towards?' Indeed, it seems that the narrator is asking himself the very same question: "What were we running towards? I don't think any of us would ever know fully" The answer Joe gives is vague, and does not immediately satisfy the readers' curiosity, another ploy to keep the reader interested.
- Word count: 1055
Compare two passages of your choice explaining what they reveal of McEwen's reoccurring themes and concerns?
Both novels talk about a troubled relationship between a couple within the first couple of paragraphs. In 'The Comfort of Strangers' the reader is told 'Colin and Mary are not on speaking terms' This is evidence that there is trouble in the relationship. We have evidence that troubled relationships are a common theme in McEwen's writing because in 'The Black Dogs' the readers are told about 'the disintegrating marriage of my sister Jean to a man called Harper'. Other examples from other books include the break up of Joe and Clarissa in Enduring Love. In the Comfort of Strangers we have a few quotes that link with the title of the novel.
- Word count: 954
Consider the ways in which The author creates suspense in the Opening chapters of the novel - Enduring Love.
As the story progresses it becomes clear that Joe can be manipulative in the way he does explain things. McEwan intentionally places certain phrases throughout the opening that capture the reader that makes them continue reading. The first example is, "The beginning is simple to mark," which is short and basic, and allows the reader to imagine what is going to happen next. The reader is curious to find out how the rest of the story is going to develop after the gripping first chapter. A second example is, "...we heard a man's shout...and saw the danger. Next thing, I was running towards it," and "...- the event I am about to describe, the fall-..."
- Word count: 739
McEwan uses many different techniques to hook the reader and to try and create suspense. From the first line of the chapter, "the beginning is simple to mark", he gives a clear explanation to the reader of the situation and that it isn't very complicated. It suggests that something important is going to happen, encouraging the reader to continue with the story to discover exactly will happen. By changing the pace of the chapter, with the use of varied sentence lengths he is able to build tension.
- Word count: 1482
MacEwan makes the story life-like by being able to inform us of Joe's thought-processes, interrupting the main point Joe is trying to make with past happenings, as maybe we would when telling someone about an incident or event. This narrative approach therefore makes him able to use flashback to extreme affect, giving MacEwan the chance to create nail-biting suspense and tension. For example, on page 3, Joe finally gets to the main point and then drifts off onto the passed events of the day.
- Word count: 895
I'm from a tainted future." He begins putting incredibly precise detail into everything he describes, even telling us the exact colour of his sorbet, "just to the green side of white", which helps to give us a crystal clear picture of the nightmare about to unfold as well as delaying the inevitable. McEwan's description of the murderers is also horrific as he completely dehumanises them. "The two men who had stopped by the table next to ours seemed to have suffered burns to the face.
- Word count: 1283
The writer builds towards a climax "The encounter that would unhinge us was minutes away, its enormity disguised from us not", this leaves the reader yearning a d�nouement. The writer is involved in a kind of game with the reader because he chooses when to withhold or disclose information "I'm holding back, delaying the information" this is frustrating but draws in and involves the reader. The tone of the passage is both urgent and sedate at the same time. Although the events of this passage are traumatic and very effectively portrayed as such, there is an air of the dispassionate
- Word count: 796
Later, when she discovers Lola has been raped, she immediately says, "It was Robbie, wasn't it?" She completes her sin by saying, "Listen to me. I couldn't mistake him. I've known him all my life. I saw him." In this first half of the book, Briony forces Robbie to atone, for upsetting the balance in her controlled, systematic world, by his taboo relationship with Cecelia. Briony believes that Robbie deserves his fate. Indeed, she is furious when she thinks Robbie might be believed over her, "Who would believe her now, with Robbie posing as the kindly rescuer of lost children?"
- Word count: 804
The opening of the novel begins with Joe and his 'enduring' girlfriend Clarrisa having a picnic in Chiltern Hills. Clarrisa and Joe have very different interests and careers so there is clearly a conflict in their personalities. Whilst Joe is a scientist, Clarrisa is a university lecturer and is researching into the relationship between the poet, john Keats and Fanny Brawne. Their difference in opinion and their combative exchanges, one would say is part of their equilibrium and is what makes them go together so well.
- Word count: 961
The opening of Enduring Love is very effective for many reasons, such as use of words, the styles and techniques of writing, and themes that are introduced.
Next thing, I was running towards it," and "...- the event I am about to describe, the fall-..." These segments of the opening leaves out who this man actually is, what the "danger" actually is and therefore, what he's running to; readers keep on reading until they get to the point where they find out what the huge event is, which doesn't come until the last few lines of his opening. Lastly, "...the last time I (Joe) understood anything clearly at all," and "Knowing what I know now," shows that the even that the narrator is about to share has to be quite large and by the way that he says these things, the reader can see that
- Word count: 708
Another insight into Joe?s character is given in the line ??close to doubling the speed limit?. Here, McEwan is creating a sense of distress and as an author gives the reader a glimpse into Joe?s current emotions, but also perhaps a sense of recklessness despite Joe?s scientific and rational claims. This is supported by the state of paranoia and guilt that we repeatedly see Joe in. We his state of mind primarily from the reason why he is in the car in the first place ? he is going to see Jean Logan.
- Word count: 1605
Some readers feel that the most compelling aspect of "Enduring Love" is Jed and Joe's relationship. What do you think of this view?
The ballooning accident is depicted in an electrifying and sudden manner. Short sentences prove effective throughout the chapter, "The beginning is simple to mark." and "I got there before them." as they increase the pace of the narrative, and continue to contribute to the thriller genre of the chapter. However, through the excitement, McEwan manipulates the concept of time and shifts to numerous scenes before arriving to the final conclusion of the chapter; John Logan falling to his death, "I've never seen such a terrible thing as that falling man."
- Word count: 925
And from the very first line ??The beginning is simple to mark.? ? leads the reader to question what exactly is simple to mark? This short sentence creates interest and also suspense and drives the reader to curiosity. Furthermore, McEwan begins the novel at the very beginning of the startling balloon accident, almost in the middle of the scene. This technique is effective because it plunges the reader straight into the dramatic scenario without having led them through a boring introduction to begin with.
- Word count: 774
Body Points : 1. Robbie and Cecilia were the same age, grew up together “He had known her since they were children.” and shared the same love for Literature ï they both have degrees in Literature ï went to Cambridge together. 2. Even though they share some common interests, they were separated by a much more fundamental divide ï Cecilia was the daughter of a wealthy upper-middle-class senior civil servant and Robbie was the son of the Tallises’ cleaner. 3. Even though they had grown up together and Robbie “had spent his childhood moving freely between the bungalow and the main house” the social gulf was unbridgeable.
- Word count: 1017
McEwan?s use of time expansion here contrasts with the compression at the end of Chapter Three, which leaves the reader on a cliff hanger as Jed calls Joe, telling him: ??I love you?? compelling the reader to read onwards in order to find out more about him. So the time expansion at the start of Chapter Four teases the reader, who wants to know more about Jed and is instead being told information which they believe is irrelevant. Also while Joe is creating his article on the Hubble telescope, the reader questions the reliability of Joe?s narrative.
- Word count: 1460