"Kate's disappearance" by Ian McEwan.

Essay by Dazfella May 2003

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What have you found interesting about the way in which Ian McEwan writes about Kate's disappearance?

This story by Ian McEwan is very interesting; it keeps you there as though you were an actual bystander. You can feel the sense of urgency about the characters worry, his concern for the lost child, the shopkeepers concern for his loss of earnings the longer the shop is shut. The way Ian McEwan describes the scenery as we enter down the street towards the shop is most descriptive, 'a motor bike salesroom, an international meeting place for bikers.' "The melon bellied men in worn leathers". This must have gone on week after week, these bikers meeting at this particular point. These really set the scene; you can imagine walking down the street to the shops, it is clear that Ian McEwan is setting the scene to show that this is a normal day just like any other, only for Stephen it was going to be anything but a normal day.

Ian McEwan really knows how to keep hold of his readers.

It is clear to see that this story is set as though the main character Stephen is looking back on what happened leading up to and after the disappearance of his daughter Kate. Stephen is not sure if he actually saw anyone, 'and who was there when his hand reached for these items? Someone who followed him as he pushed Kate along the stacked aisles.' Stephen seems oblivious to what is going on around him as though he doesn't really care, he is only there to do his shopping and get out. He is placed by the writer in the upper class group of shoppers, those who only buy the posh items of food, for example, fresh salmon, steak and...