Chapter 14 and 15 Enduring Love

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  • Created on: 20-04-13 15:03
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How does McEwan tell the story in Chapter 14?
Joe continues to narrate and an insight is gained into Clarissa's perspective on Joe's
potential as a parent, Joe's memories of his interaction with adults as a child and
Joe's achievement in relating to Clarissa's eldest godchild. Joe views himself through
the detached eyes of the Logan children. He is able to engage the children in a
discussion of moral relativism (are there absolute rights and wrongs, or do these vary
according to cultures and times) and Joe momentarily appears to forget the adult
world. When the narrative focus returns to Jean Logan, Joe finds himself agreeing to
contact the other men who were involved in the ballooning accident on Jean's behalf
as a result of his feelings of guilt. In addition, the hypothesis (again a form of narrative)
that she has constructed to explain her husband's determination to hang on to the
rope is revealed. Whilst watching the children play, Joe remembers the reference to
unrequited love and coded signalling that had been eluding him and De Clerambault's
syndrome is introduced to the novel.
Narrative techniques
Detective novel genre: `take on the case'
Romance novel genre
Two narrative digressions: at start and Clerambault
Language of obsession:
`The boy could not take his eyes off me as he stared'
`I have to find her' ­ ignorance of mistress's identity drives obsession
Joe's need to explore in detail the Logans' lives
First line links to end of Chapter 13 ­ links Jean to Joe & Clarissa
Narrated by Joe through a child'seye viewpoint
Initial digression builds up to the meeting with the children
Language of death builds suspense:
He always wanted to be the hurt he couldn't accept it = hypothetical
motivation for his foolhardy attempt to save boy in balloon
I know what killed him = selfdelusion
Hypothetical discussion about murder = irony is children are more rational
Joe's inner questioning to justify actions
Metafiction and language of narrative ­ e.g. `story not making sense', `this was a
theory, a narrative'
Imagery of `lacework', `fabric' ­ curtains?
Music imagery ­ `name was a fanfare, a clear trumpet'
Joe is alone at the end

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How does McEwan tell the story in Chapter 15?
Joe returns to the scene of the ballooning accident and constructs his own narrative
to explain the behaviour of John Logan's mistress. He follows the steps that John
Logan would have taken to the site of the start of the ballooning accident and then
retraces the steps that he and Clarissa took two weeks before.…read more


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