Enduring Love chapter 4

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Millie
  • Created on: 07-03-13 18:48

Chapter summary

  • Joe is at home finishing an article on the Hubble telescope at home whilst Clarissa is at work.
  • He goes to the London library - escapism- but he feels uneasy.
  • He comments on 'scientific illiterates' and makes comments on how language is not the precursor of thought
  • Joe feels like he is being watched and after some times sees a white trainer and red shoe lace of someone darting outside of the library <- we believe this to be Jed perhaps
  • Joe runs outside in pursuit of this person but cannot find him
  • Joe picks up the jar of flowers he kicked over in his pursuit as ' an act of propitation'<- religious imagery
1 of 8


There seems to be an emerging paradox within the personality of Joe

He seems to still take comfort from science and abolute truths but there is an emergence of religous lexis and relgious rationalization that contrasts his habitual rationalistic dispostion

{ Quotes to use: Hubble telescope + Last page ' act of propitation]

Joe's hubristic nature  is worsening.

Make reference to the 'scientific illterates' <- perhaps his growing hostility towards these type of people is an unconscious attempt to defend himself from the intrustion of schools of thought: Religion. 

+ Make reference to the quote of language not being the precursor of thought <- epistemology 

2 of 8


All scenes within the chapter are very academic: Joe's home and the London Library. These are places that Joe would feel very comfortable in. The use of such places evokes a sense of escapism - he is trying to surround himself with that which comforts him in an attempt to keep foreign intruders out.

Joe's home is becoming less and less of a refuge for him 'what bothered me as I typed up my piece was a disquiet, a physical sensation I could not quite identify. Shows how fundamental parts of Joe's life have been and will continue to be affected by the balloon incident.

3 of 8

Narrative voice

Narrative voice in the chapter reflects the novel's pyschological thriller nature.

There is an abundance of free speech where the protagonist relays his emotions and thoughts to the reader.

Introspective narration " fear was too focused, it had an object. Dread was too strong. Fear of the future, Apprehension then" <- demonstates the pyschological thriller form as it shows the stuggle within the protagonist's mental and emotional state. Also seems to be a sort of stream of consciousness<- lack of structure connoted internal turmoil.

4 of 8

Point of View

Used to show the fickle nature of perception

" What I liked here was how the power and attractions of narrative have clouded judgement"- meta-narrative statement. Significance: shows how people's perceptions can be mere confabulations - we shouldn't trust Joe so easily + The narrators affinity with clouded judgment could surreptitously warning the reader against trusting him

"it was easy to construe the account in a way that could make it compatible with an automaton, or a creature doomed to inhabit a perpetual present'. V. significant in relaying the unreliability of chapter 4 and the whole novel + proleptically foreshadows Jed's construing of events - manic obession + perhaps even Joe's

POV coming from a homodiegtic narrator may be twisted to benefit the narrator

5 of 8

Time and Sequence

Chapter begins with an enumeration of banal daily activities [ quote from 1st page of the chapter] in order to create some normalcy. The pace also seems quite slow as he attempts to reinstate some normalcy into his life.


The pace of the end of the novel is very fast - shows Joe's frantic state of mind and perhaps normalcy is a priveldge he can no longer be granted.

6 of 8

Inter textual references

George Orwell's 1984 - McEwan is contradicting Orwell's hypothesis on language and thought.

Significance: Perhaps it is an attempt by McEwan to change societal views on that which is considered 'classic' or general truths could be fallacies. <- trying to show the reader that they must think for themsleves otherwise their own 'systems of thought' will be easily 'unfurled'.

7 of 8


  • To introduce the philosophy of epistemology
  • To show the failibilty of perception
  • To show the consequences of not having a reason for the way one thinks <- can be easily infiltrated. 
8 of 8



Would you be able to do these for other chapters they're really useful

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »See all Enduring Love resources »