Chapter 9 - Enduring Love

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  • Topic: Novel, Tell, Mind
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  • Published : March 16, 2011
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How does McEwan tell the story in chapter 9?

McEwan uses a different perspective to the rest of the novel, he uses a form of 3rd person narrative but solely Clarissa as his chosen subject, he also tells the reader this at the start, “ It would make more sense of Clarissa’s return to tell it from her point of view.” McEwan uses this to singularly show movements of Clarissa, because up until then Joe’s perspective has been the main focus, and not any other characters. This way McEwan is able to show the personal feelings of the character and not just from Joe’s point of view, for example we see how she perceives Joe “before she has even put down her bag, he is on another tack, telling her about a conversation he’s jus had with an old friend...” Being told from this perspective we are able to see how Clarissa feels about Joe and not just Joe’s opinions on his own actions.

The structure of the chapter, is somewhat like other chapters where McEwan gives us large portions of information that is irrelevant to the plot, which shows the reader what kind of thoughts and state of mind Clarissa is in, which is a lot of trivial information and confusion of thoughts. This is seen at the start of the chapter, when Clarissa describes her day, “ ..she had been consistently late in filing her Workload Quota Schedules” this information which has no relative importance to the novel, shows the state of mind Clarissa is in, which is one of countless thoughts running through her head. It also is a use of way to show the time as she speaks, for example, “she arrives up three flights of stairs” the way McEwan feeds us this information, describes to the reader how long it feels for her to walk up the stairs, and how tedious it has been for her, much like the time needed to read that paragraph.

McEwan uses a lot of tension in this chapter to build up suspense for the reader, for example after Joe has been talking non-stop for some time, he builds the tension by making the...
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