How does McEwan present the Characters of Joe and Parry in the first two chapters of "Enduring Love"?

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“Enduring Love” Essay

How does McEwan present the Characters of Joe and Parry in the first two chapters of “Enduring Love”?

Ian McEwan uses many techniques in order to portray the characters within his novel; we gain knowledge of Joes’ character through the narrative. The novel is written in the first person narrative of Joe Rose, his use of language clearly shows that he is well educated through his long descriptive sentences,

“My impression was that at the moment of impact the little stick figure flowed or poured outwards across the ground, like a drop of viscous fluid”.

 Another portrayal of his elevated education is in his scientific justifications for the events that occur in life,

“We were running towards a catastrophe, which itself was a kind of furnace in whose heat identities and fates would buckle into new shapes”.

 This is very effective, the metaphor of a furnace represents the changing of state, and this is an example of foreshadowing. This narrative effect suggests something will happen further on in the novel. The word buckle suggests an element of pain and that lives will be changed for good against the will of the people involved. This proves that science reflects his background and the nature of his thoughts. We also learn that Joe has a very normal, loving relationship with his wife Clarissa,

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“…there was nothing that threatened our free and intimate existence.”

From the very beginning we see the situation of the picnic as very idyllic and we assume he is quite wealthy as he is drinking “a 1987 Daumas Gassac”.

 In addition, we become aware that Joe feels slightly lower in status than Clarissa, “I had tried to match hers”. It is obvious to the reader that he feels she is too good for him and is honoured by her love for him,

 “A beautiful woman loved and wanted to be loved by a large, clumsy, balding fellow who could hardly ...

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