How McEwan Hooks The Reader Essay

How McEwan Hooks The Reader Essay

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How McEwan Hooks The Reader

"Beginnings matter. They always have. Middle's have no limits- they
can scrunch up or they can sprawl. Endings may be left open,
ambiguous, and incomplete. Never has a novel not begun. And if it
doesn't begin right, the suspicion is that the rest of it won't be
right either".

"In an age of multiple choice and short attention spans, beginnings
are more crucial than ever. To prevent readers drifting off, an author
has to hook them quickly".

A prime example of a great beginning is the first chapter of 'Enduring
Love by Ian McEwan. Many regard this as the best introduction written
for a modern novel. "Enduring Love" opens with a chapter so
masterfully written, that the rest of the novel must inevitably
disappoint. The standard of the opening is so high that in theory no
other chapter will be able to compete with such brilliance resulting
in an anticlimax, this must follow some kind of thermodynamic law of
literature. McEwan achieves this greatly deserved acknowledgement by
the way he hooks the reader almost immediately. His use of various
techniques allows him to place the reader in a situation created by
him. By doing this he has you, the reader, in the position he wishes
thus creating an opening chapter so good it would be impossible to put
it down.

McEwan uses many different techniques to hook the reader and to try
and create suspense. From the first line of the chapter, "the
beginning is simple to mark", he gives a clear explanation to the
reader of the situation and that it isn't very complicated. It
suggests that something important is going to happen, encouraging the
reader to continue ...


... middle of paper ...


... the opening they are used a lot. If they were not used the opening may
not have been as good as it is and therefore lack the ability to hook
the reader. He uses delaying techniques to project the future of the
plot, which give the reader questions to think about and to continue
reading to find the answers. Another key feature of hooking the reader
is the way he can present sentences, which can be interoperated in 2
different ways, for example the reader in foresight interoperates
"fuel for long writers obsession" whilst for the narrator it is
hindsight. This keeps the reader on their toes therefore making them
concentrate and therefore become fully involved with the book. All of
these techniques are used to create a great balance in the opening;
together they ensure McEwan is able to keep the attention of the
reader.

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