Chapter 16 Enduring Love

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  • Created on: 20-04-13 15:04
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How does McEwan tell the story in Chapter 16?
Summary
Jed's second letter to Joe Jed has paid a student to collect 35 of Joe's articles which
he reads in a couple of hours. He criticises Joe's work and is distressed at how easily
Joe has refuted God's existence through science. Jed attempts to encourage Joe to
leave Clarissa and his life behind in order to find God and explore their (his and Jed's)
relationship. He reassures Joe that he will always there for him but urges him to open
his mind to God he sees Joe's beliefs as misguided and ignorant.
Themes
Love Jed is unrelentless in his obsession of Joe, however he sees his faults in his
works and wants to reform him. He again highlights how Joe and Clarissa's love may
be imperfect because he will always be there for Joe even if he does try to deny his
existence.
Religion Jed is distraught at Joe's apparent lack of religion and wants to teach him
the way of God, through his own love and leaving Clarissa.
Science Joe's scientist appearance somehow makes Jed more eager to pursue a
relationship with him as he sees it as more of a challenge than before.
Illness Jed becomes to seem even more ill as the chapter progresses and we see
him become more threatening by warning Joe not to deny his existence. We begin to
see that he is not just in love with Joe but he wants to win him, to achieve something
and that in turn he needs to change him. This side of Jed shows the ill minded person
he is and how he sees Joe as almost a prize to be won when he has challenged him.
Form
Epistolary style ­ Throughout the novel Joe appears to be an inadequate narrator as
he doesn't always know the full details of certain events. By removing him as the
narrator for this chapter, the reader is able to grasp an understanding of Jed's
thoughts. This is an effective technique as it provides a supplementary perception of
the story. In addition the reader is also able start understanding Jed's insanity and
obsession with Joe.
Internal monologue/First person narrative by Jed.
Heteroglossia ­ Jed's diction and belief system contrasts with Joe's creating more
depth to their characters and the novel as a whole.
Structure
Letter is once again used to show the delusion of Jed.
Use of questioning suggests that he clearly feels Joe is/ will reciprocate in some way.
Use of emotive language suggests Jed is clearly angered by Joe's religious beliefs.

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Use of repeated rhetorical question that are arguably ignorant/ childish could be seen
as McEwen purposefully being derogatory of Jed in order to undermine his religion.
His bipolar switches between attempted conversion and vicious judgement further
suggest Jed's madness. This is further supported by his own description of his brain
as `a washing machine'.
Language
Informal tone Due to the fact that the entity of the letter takes an epistolary style, the
language that is used is fairly informal and conversationlike.…read more

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