Enduring Love or Possessive Love?
Enduring Love opens up with a visual opening of a freak-like accident occurring to rescue a boy from a hot air balloon. This event serves as a symbol to the righteous postmodern novel. I plan to demonstrate how McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love for an audience of classmates that seems to be for people as a form of truth if confronted by a distressing situation. McEwan centers the book on a real mental condition called De Clerambault’s Syndrome, which the character Jed Parry has. McEwan also tries to put into account sub-plots of Joe’s life and relationship with his partner Clarissa. This freak-like accident has a certain impact on the story itself, where Jed notices Joe and starts to grow a sort of infatuation towards him. In The English Review, for instance, Jill Swale mentions “ After the event, Jed Parry tries to make sense of it by arguing that it was God's way of bringing him and Joe together so that he could convert Joe” (15.3). McEwan uses this sort of obsession occurring as a form of religion to connect the soon to be make believe relationship in Jed’s head. As in the story Joe says to Jed “ ‘You’ll come.’ I meant it as a suggestion, but it came out as a request, something I needed from him. He looked at me, unable to speak. Everything, every gesture, every word I spoke was being stored away, gathered and piled, fuel for the long winter of his obsession” (McEwan 3025). Joe then finds out that de Clerambault’s syndrome features a belief that the object of obsession has initiated a love affair and is cruelly toying with the subject by sending secret signals of encouragement while denying the shared passion. Joe uses the fuel for the long winter as a way to show how exactly Jed’s train of thought was working and how Jed took into account every little thing Joe did. As Jonathan Taylor adds Joe, the narrator, and his girlfriend Clarissa, are respectively, a science journalist and a Keats specialist. Love's...
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