Enduring Love by Ian McEwan


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  • Created by: H
  • Created on: 17-04-10 17:31

The Chilterns

  • The scene of the accident
  • Initial description resembling the Garden of Eden--> foreshadowing the fall of man, being thrown from normality and self consciousness
  • Very different people present--> if anybody can be there, anything can happen
  • Tranquil and calm setting--> opposite to the urgency and crisis of the accident
  • Natural imagery--> innocence, healing
  • Used as an escape place for Joe and Clarissa--> where people want to be
  • Mutual and neutral ground--> nobody is a cut above anything else
  • Woods--> somewhere to hide, easy to get lost
  • Dipping paths and valley--> imply fluctuations, highs and lows
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Joe and Clarissa's Flat

  • In London--> hustle and bustle, busy lives, desire for anonymity, diverse (arts & science), accepting
  • Small--> suggests familiarity may breed contempt, living in close proximity means all emotions and moods are not easily hidden, possibly a close, secure relationship
  • Normality--> one of many flats in the capital, nothing presents the couple as any different from anyone else in London- but Jed picks them out
  • High ground--> control is important to Joe, safety of his own home, Clarissa's safety, opportunity to pry into Clarissa's belongings
  • Safety--> always other people around, ironically this does not help the case, safety in numbers
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The Restaurant

  • Neutral ground for Joe and Clarissa--> interlacing of science and art (such as the brooch)
  • Opportunity to introduce a new character--> without bias and without pre-judgemental opinions
  • Provides link--> Clarissa's missing diary and Jed's presence- next step in the novel
  • Microcosm--> the busy restaurant is a snippet of London as a whole- implies lack of safety and need for awareness in society
  • Expansion of thriller genre--> involvement of general public in the action, stereotypical villains in black
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The London Library

  • Quiet place--> where Joe can be left alone with his thoughts- this allows him to be in control, it would cause Jed to become dangerous
  • Escape route--> the same as the Chilterns- offers serenity and somewhere where any disturbance is noted and dealt with, opposite to the urgency of London city
  • Brings Joe and Clarissa closer--> the library contains books that attract both- the reader begins to see the similarities between the couple
  • Provides answers--> the library being a source of knowledge where many questions are answered- foreshadowing of Joe's response to his realisation of Jed's syndrome
  • Enhances Joe as narrator--> Joe including various details- wants to be seen as an intellectual, also wants his paranoia of Jed to be shown immediately
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The Logans' House

  • In Oxford--> implies wealth and money, could also suggest intelligence within the family
  • Unkempt and uncared for garden--> reflection of the state Jean is in, implies wild behaviour and possibly secrets, unlike beauty of biblical Chilterns- showing it after man's fall
  • Old house--> fireplace- old relationship, sturdy and long lasting, difficult to break apart- foreshadowing John's innocence
  • Dull colours--> reflects the mood of Jean, suggests a quiet life, the accident bringing unattainable excitement as well as tragedy- opposite to John's thrilling mountaineering expertise
  • Opposite--> Oxford unlike modern day London, the house opposite to Joe's flat- one thing/person links two opposites (like in a relationship)
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The Gunmen's House

  • On the North Downs--> similar features to the Chilterns- contrast between beauty and danger- unexpected, misleads the senses
  • Group of four--> difficult things made easier with teamwork- villainy, money making schemes- sign to Joe not to tackle Jed alone and not to lose Clarissa in the process
  • Dog waste--> adds comical edge- reminder that the novel is not primarily a thriller, Joe's laughter gives him the moral high ground, link between humans and nature
  • Dirty and dull--> opposite to organisation of Joe and Clarissa's flat, similar to the Logans' house- possibly linking John to the crime Jean thinks he's committed, leading that sub-plot on
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Street Scenes

  • Present Jed as harmless--> naive enough to harass Joe in public therefore cannot present any real threat
  • Keep the scenes real--> reminder to the reader of the reality of the situation- in a well known city, in public places, nothing is behind the scenes
  • Builds suspense--> unsure whether Jed is ignorant enough to ignore his surroundings and still act there and then or is actually preparing to make a move later on
  • Another neutral place--> neither Joe nor Jed are certain of their surroundings or what they can use as protection- completely a mind game, releases their true individual intelligences and emotions
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Interesting, thanks :)


this is great


very helpful! excellent notes.

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