A dictionary defines the word addictive as being: wholly devoted to something, a slave to another and in a state of wanting more. Ian McEwan claimed that he wanted to write an opening chapter that had the same effect as a highly addictive drug. In my opinion he has achieved in doing this. At the end of chapter one the reader is left needing more information about the characters introduced and what tragedy actually occurred. McEwan took the definition, addictive, and wrote the opening chapter, never forgetting what his objective was. The opening chapter has to be effective in order to keep the reader interested and to keep them reading. The style of the writer and novel also need to be established and tailored to suit the tastes of anyone that decides to read this novel.
McEwan uses many factors that all contribute towards the effectiveness of the opening chapter. A lot of suspense and tension is used right from the start of the novel, in the first line, "The beginning is simple to mark," which makes you question, the beginning of what exactly? This is a short sentence that is used which draws you in and leaves you wanting to know more. McEwan also creates a lot of tension, "partly protected from a strong, gusty wind," which describes the wind as being an unpredictable, natural force which together conveys a sense of urgency. The narrator also starts to withhold vital information from the reader to create anxiety from within. "The encounter that would unhinge us was minutes away," the narrator is building up the tension that leads to this huge disaster, but doesn't just say what is install for him and the other characters. He also hints that the disaster is life changing, "This was the last time that I understood anything clearly at all." The narrator then goes on to describe the atmosphere and events just before the disaster reached them, "I heard what was coming two seconds before...
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