Lastly, the third example is between Joe and Clarissa, who throughout the story have had ups and downs, but throughout they love each other and in the end they’re back together. They had taken a break because Clarissa felt that she was betrayed, but after they saw the effect that the truth had had on Mrs. Logan, it is suggested that this had an affect on them as well. In the first appendix it is said that, “The victims of de Clerambault patients may endure harassment, stress, physical and sexual assault and even death. While in this case R (Joe) and M (Clarissa) were reconciled and later successfully adopted a child, other victims have had divorce, or emigrate, and others have needed psychiatric treatment because of the distress the patients have caused them.” Therefore, Joe and Clarissa’s ending actions are implied to be abnormal, but also that the two of them have a strong love that could endure Jed’s love as well.
The second idea of the title suggesting that the book is about having to endure love is supported by four examples of the same people. Firstly, Mrs. Logan has to endure the love, or lack there of, from the belief that her husband was unfaithful to her. Her way of dealing with this idea takes its toll on her emotionally and physically. She states, “I’m the mad one, if course. I’m irrelevant, I’m in the way. It’s not convenient to answer my questions because they don’t fit the story. There, there Mrs. Logan! Don’t go fretting about things that don’t concern you and aren’t important anyway. We know it’s you husband, the father of your children, but we’re in charge and please don’t get in the way…” Emotionally, she is on a roller-coaster and her mind is running to conclusions and she isn’t emotionally stable because she wants answers. Physically she is worn out and not looking healthy or happy, “The eyes that held mine were small and dry, not reddened by grief, but sunk, and glazed by weariness. She looked a long way off, out on her own in unspeakable weather, like a lone Arctic explorer.” Then, when she finds out that her husband wasn’t unfaithful Mrs. Logan has to endure the fact that she was wrong and that she can’t be forgiven because they person she betrayed is dead.
Jed then also endures a lack of love because he loves Joe so much, but never receives any from Joe. He endures pain physically and goes through emotional stress because there is no love from Joe. Emotional stress is shown in his statements. First, “I love you, Joe, and it’s wrecked my life,” and second, “…If you wouldn’t return my love, I thought I’d rather have you dead.” Throughout the book Jed is pulled different ways and gets stressed because he “didn’t want any part of this.” Then physically, he gets shot by Joe and gets put in a hospital for the rest of his life.
Next, Joe has endures love from two people, Jed and Clarissa. The love that Joe receives from Jed confuses Joe and puts some emotional stress on him too. The confusion comes from the “signals” that Jed is supposed to be receiving from him. “Joe. Brilliant idea with the curtains... The curtains? I returned to the living room and looked…I pulled one aside, foolishly expecting to find a clue.” Joe doesn’t understand how he could possibly be giving signals and how Jed could think that he loved him. The emotional stress that Joe goes through causes him and Clarissa to be on bad terms because Joe becomes irrational, and emotional stress also causes him to get a gun because he feels that his life and Clarissa’s are threatened by the shooting. Then, the love that he endures from Clarissa is both positive and negative. Towards the beginning and at the end, their love is easy to endure, then once Joe starts to take this Jed thing seriously, and become irrational it becomes hard because Clarissa loves his rationality.
Lastly, Clarissa endures love from Joe and from Jed for Joe. From Joe, there are the good aspects, but then she has to put up with what she thinks is a lie about Jed. She has to put up with Joe and his irrationality, which is really hard for her because of her father. Then, she is pulled through a lot by Jed’s love for Joe as a side effect. The love from Jed, cause all the problems between her and Joe, but also she is put through two traumatic events of the shooting and being held hostage. Throughout this book, a lot is shown of what effects love can have on people, and love plays a main theme, while teaching readers about love and relationships indirectly.
McEwan teaches that love can be egotistic, altruistic, irrational, misinterpreted/ misunderstood, and destroyed. Love being egotistical is shown through Joe and Clarissa when Joe becomes irrational because they’re both caught up in their own needs and don’t tend to each others. Also shown when Jed want to ignore Clarissa and just be with Joe, and when Mrs. Logan jumps to conclusions, ignoring the man that she knew he was. Love that is altruistic is shown firstly by all the men who run to help the boy in the balloon, even if it meant risking their life, and secondly by Mr. Logan because he keeps holding on to help the boy and he was there because he was helping the other couple. Love that is irrational is definitely shown by Jed because he loves Joe without really knowing him and still loves him after receiving none. Misinterpreted or misunderstood love is shown by Jed through his belief in signals and by Clarissa because Joe becomes irrational because he is worried for himself but also Clarissa. Lastly, love that is destroyed is Clarissa’s and Joe’s by the insane obsession by Jed, and the Logan’s love by Mr. Logan’s death and the wrong interpretation of why his death happened.
The author mainly teaches us that love is two-sided, without two people sharing a love for each other, the relationship won’t work. Love can’t be selfish because when you’re only concerned with yourself, you aren’t showing your love or consideration for others. Love takes work; a relationship will have its’ ups and downs, but love isn’t how you are at the good points, it’s how you work together at the bad ones and get out of them; a little work in a relationship can go along way. Lastly, love can make or break someone; it can save or destroy someone.
The significance of the title Enduring Love is to introduce a main theme and to sum up the two ideas of the story; love that is enduring, or what enduring love can do to people. The author also teaches a lot about relationships and love; that they take work, love comes in many forms, and that one move can affect the whole scheme of things.