Ian Mcewans Enduring Love.

Essay by polac81High School, 12th gradeC+, November 2003

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One reviewer commented that 'McEwan is interested in the ways in which we construct coherent narratives out of chaos.' Examine the narrative techniques in Enduring

Love in the light of this comment.

In Enduring Love McEwan presents characters who, when confronted with a complex, distressing situation which revolves around the very modern disease of stalking, are driven to search for the truth. Each of the three central characters has his, or her, way of finding the truth; either through science, the arts, or religion. McEwan explores this idea that it is a basic human instinct to seek the truth in his novel and perhaps suggests that there is no one way to find the answers that are sought. Perhaps to construct a coherent narrative, and therefore to find the whole truth, a combination of all three is needed. The reader also strives to make sense of the information he, or she, is given.

To enable the reader to take an active role McEwan provides the different characters viewpoints. We are able therefore to examine closely each characters' interpretation and come to a decision as to which characters we can put our faith in.

In Enduring Love a number of different narratives are constructed, Joe Rose's being one of them. The novel is written mainly in the first person, Joe being the dominant narrator. As readers we have direct access to his thoughts and feelings, therefore Joe is the character that we

put our trust in from the beginning.

McEwan decided, even before he started writing the novel, that he

wanted to create an extremely rational character such as Joe Rose, to be

put through an ordeal, and for the reader to watch him struggle until the

very end of the novel with the consequence of the ballooning accident.