Enduring Love

Enduring Love Notes 

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  • Created by: Wasik
  • Created on: 09-05-12 19:29

Joe Rose


  • Intelligent, analytical thinker.
  • Capable of turning that sharp analysis onto himself and his situation 
  • Clearly in love with Clarissa and glad/suprised that this love is returned. 
  • A resourcefull individual, works hard and finds way to get things done. 
  • Will help others and is good with children. 
  • Makes assumptions, which he demands others believe to be true.
  • His analytical approach can leave him blundering in emotional matters. 
  • Contains overwealming guilt over the 'incident' 
  • Desperate to be involved in 'real' science again, looks down upon himself and his career. 
  • Failure to keep in control of his emotions leads to him losing his relationship with Clarissa. This is generally because of his sulking and failure to understand her needs. 
  • Perhaps he does encourage Jed to fill in the gaps in his life.  
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Clarissa Mellon


  • Intelligent, subtle thinker and committed scholar.
  • Generous to others, especially others 
  • A great listener to many characters in the novel, not just Joe. 
  • Deeply in love with Joe, ready to celebrate this often. 
  • A strong, supportive individual who will not whine or moan. 
  • Her inability to have children hurts and can be used to hurt Joe. 
  • Finds it difficult to support Joe because of what she sees of his assumptions, and her fear of his secret life with Parry. 
  • She's self-centred she thinks that the Parry situation is about herself. 
  • She withdraws from Joe when he needs her the most
  • When Joe shoots Parry and saves her instead of being delightful, she is upset as Joe has used a weapon. This is priggish and ungrateful.
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Jed Parry


  • Devout believer with very strong faith. 
  • Totally motivated & dedicated. 
  • He feels great love not great hatred. 
  • Has a lot of money, however does not spend it profligately
  • As with any mental illness he needs help as oppose to blame. 
  • Introverted and awkward 
  • Very average intellect creates his own proof(s) and assertions. 
  • No theory in his religious thought. 
  • Frequently claims that he is the passive victim, labels Joe responsible with the blame therefore he does not have to be. 
  • Persistent and pestering, claims he is aware of the consequences of his actions however does not act as if he has this knowledge.  
  • Turns violent when he is neglected his wants. 
  • He has no friends or peers to socialise with which may lead to why he is so obsessive over Joe. 
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Jean Logon


  • Clearly loved her husband 
  • Heroically struggling with her husbands death. 
  • An intelligent, academic women capable of making persuasive arguments. 
  • Fittingly moved when the truth of the picnic is revealed. 
  • Sunk deep into private unreachable grief. 
  • Allows her children to cope on their own to their best ability, perhaps does not support them enough. 
  • To ready to accept the fact that her husband was an adulterer. 
  • Uses Joe to satisfy her desire to prove her husband's guilt.  
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Themes- Love


  • Maybe not of every kind however McEwan is careful to include varieties. 
  • The love between Clarissa and Joe 
  • The love between Parry and God 
  • Jed's love for Joe 
  • The ****** love between partners 
  • Joe's love of 'real' science 
  • Clarissa's love for Keats 
  • Keats' great love 
  • Jean Logans love for her husband John 
  • Clarissa's frustrated love for children 
  • Love for the Hippie ideal. 
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Science Vs Art


  • Clearly Clarissa and Joe represent either side, a little mechanically? 
  • The two sides tackle the same problem from different angles 
  • McEwan allows us to see what both sides opinions are and what both sides would do.
  • McEwan also gives a second scientific ending to contrast with the novelistic first ending. 
  • McEwan attempts to place the charaters under these labels 
  • Parry belongs under neither as science nor art can guide him as he is lost in terms of finding his own persona.  
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  • A word perhaps mentioned too early on nevertheless an important aspect of the novel 
  • Narrative relates to any method used in an attempt of trying to make sense of the world. 
  • A narrative will aim to tell a story that is reassuring and sounds correct. 
  • There are competing narratives within the novel. 
  • Joe's interest in scientific unreliability of them all should highlight the issue of belief and credibility at the heart of the narrative, or stories, or fictions. 
  • Fabrications which we may believe to be true, or perhaps we may question. 
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Faith & Forgiveness


  • We may see Parry as the 'Jesus Freak' Clarissa labels him early on but all of the characters have their own individual views and beliefs. 
  • Can we really say that Joe & Clarissa do not force their beliefs on others as we assume Parry does?
  • What about inspector Linley's beliefs?
  • Jed's enduring belief is the last thing that we get to hear and is strong, stronger than Clarissa's belief in Joe, or Jean Logon's in her husband John. 
  • At the end of the novel we witness two calls for forgiveness. 
  • Parry asks Joe for his forgiveness and Professor Reid asks Mrs Logan for her forgiveness.
  • Mrs Logan herself despairs of ever receiving forgiveness from her husband. 
  • With such a religious closing tone, this novel cannot simply be an attack on religious fanaticism- can it?   
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  • This is a major theme within McEwan's work. 
  • Whether a child suddenly goes missing as in 'The Child In Time' 
  • As when the Berlin Wall crumbles (Black Dogs) 
  • Or two lovers kill a man and gruesomely cut up his body together, therefore by doing this dismembering their love for each other (The Innocent) 
  • Enduring Love is most similar to the last novel mentioned, 'The Innocent' as it has to deal with a love that cannot stand the strain of the consequences of the catastrophe.
  • However this raises the question, what is the real catastrophe? 
  • That a man died or that one man fell in love with another? 
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Thank you so much for this!

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