Enduring Love Simple to Mark Essay Sample

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So is it possible to argue that the opening statement of the novel self-reflexively suggests Joe’s unreliability as our narrator- despite the fact that he is striving for objectivity and truth? He is unreliable, simply through the fact of being our narrator. The beginning of Ian McEwan’s ‘Enduring Love’ is not simple to mark. When McEwan was drafting the novel, he originally tried to start with Chapter 21, the scene where Joe procures the gun. How does this fit with the self-reflexive nature of the narrative and the claim that the beginning is easy to mark? Meaning he must of thought in great depth about the beginning and it was quite a challenging decision to make. By even making the statement that ‘the beginning is simple to mark’ is making the reader suspicious towards the idea that in fact it is not simple to mark. It obviously was not simple to mark or he wouldn’t need to emphasise this point. On page 17 chapter 2 he says ‘I’ve already marked my beginning… But this pinprick is a notional as a point in Euclidean geometry… A beginning is an artifice…’ suggesting that a beginning is very complicated and complex.

The word ‘notional’ provokes the idea that the beginning is the smallest part of the entire story, with no worth or value. In addition the word ‘artifice’ infers that the beginning is a cunning device to deceive people. This shows that the beginning has a deeper meaning than the writer makes out to us. Furthermore on chapter 1 page 3 it says ‘even without the balloon, the day would have been marked for memory…’ although starting at the beginning of his story, he takes us back to the start of the day through further analepsis it shows that there was significant events before the marked beginning suggesting they too had an important meaning and impact on Joe. If it was simple to mark then there would be no need to clarify time and events, similarly no need to go to the start of the day as he would have already clearly marked the beginning.

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