Write Your Response to the First Chapter of Enduring Love by Ian Mcewan

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Write your response to the first chapter of “Enduring Love” “The beginning is simple to mark.” – The first line of the novel is designed to hook readers and it does. The use of the word “beginning” begs the question, the beginning of what? Instantly capturing our interests, it also shows the significance of the event as coupled with the word “simple” it shows complexity surrounding this mysterious, forthcoming event, again capturing our interests, and it shows the narrator has replayed this event a number of times to himself to of found the exact moment where everything began. I believe it is a rather cliché opening to a novel but with McEwan being the author he manages to make it is an effective cliché. McEwan, through the introduction of characters and detail, instantly introduces the subject of class into the novel and so sets the backdrop for the novel. With a bottle of 1987 Daumas Gassac and a name like Clarissa that holds the connotations of wealth and luxury we are told of the class and lifestyle surrounding who we assume are the main characters. With the narrative voice in chapter one of the novel focusing on thought and detail and not emotion it introduces a rather robotic character in Joe. We get to know him quickly and quite intimately as the novel is written as though he is talking to straight to us. We are shown the absence of feeling in him which is replaced by the almost irrational use of logic he uses. For me, too much emphasis is put on the scientific part of Joe, we are told his mind works in a scientific way and it is made apparent that he is very intelligent but this is drilled into the readers head over and over again until it becomes potentially irritating and monotonous. There is no human being behind the voice, he observes in very close detail everything around him but does not feel a great deal about it. Joe’s need for detail to perhaps eliminate some of the guilt that he feels at this stage of the novel is repeated to the extent that it...
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