Response to McEwan's Characterisation of Joe Rose

1107 Words5 Pages
A Reader’s Response to McEwan’s Characterisation of Joe Rose in

Chapters 1 - 6 of Enduring Love

In Chapters 1-6 of ‘Enduring Love’ McEwan has forced the reader to

become heavily involved in the storyline through the use of a dramatic

event; the balloon accident that happened within the first chapter.

In the first 6 Chapters it becomes clear that Jed has become

infatuated with Joe Rose. The reader can then use this as an insight

into the personality and the character of Joe through the events that

unfold within these chapters.

Personally, as the reader, I see Joe as a very educated person who has

a very organised, analytical and rational mind; he processes

information in a very logical way. This comes across when he talks

about evolution and Darwin when he picks Clarissa up from the

airport. He observes other peoples expressions when they see their

loved ones when they come through the gate at the airport; “if one

ever wanted proof of Darwin’s contention that the many expressions of

emotion in humans are universal, genetically inscribed, then a few

minutes….” This shows the reader how Joe is very educated and

interested in science.

However he also shows a very opposite side of himself from science

which is very factual and organised, this is love. His love for

Clarissa shows through how McEwan has written this character; “a

beautiful woman loved and wanted to be loved by a large, clumsy,

balding fellow who could hardly believe his luck” and how later on in

the book when Jed phones up and tells Joe that he loves him Joe

doesn’t tell Clarissa because he didn’t want her to become involved.

Love is a very random and unpredictable emotion as there are many

highs and lows; I believe that McEwan has done this to show that Joe

has many other sides to himself rather than just the educated, well

minded person shown at the beginning of the book.

This very irrational side of Joe also shows when he relies on the hope

that Logan might still be alive after falling from the balloon, and

Joe even tries to talk to Logan in the field after falling a great

height from the balloon. This shows that in events of panic and when

Joe can’t see what is really happening at that time he can become very

idiotic and as the reader you can tell that Joe may become too

involved in an event and becomes very un trust worthy because he only

sees what he wants to see, and not what is actually going on. This

might be linked to later on in the book where Joe thinks he’s being
Open Document