Exploration of How Ian McEwan Hooks the Reader in the Opening Three Chapters of Enduring Love

Exploration of How Ian McEwan Hooks the Reader in the Opening Three Chapters of Enduring Love

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Exploration of How Ian McEwan Hooks the Reader in the Opening Three Chapters of Enduring Love


In McEwan's book Enduring Love, he uses a wide variety of techniques
to intrigue and hook the reader. He begins his story with the
startling and dramatic scenario of a hot air balloon accident. He
begins his story in medias res (in the middle of things). This is a
significantly effective technique as it plunges the reader into the
middle of a dramatic scenario without having dragged them through a
boring introduction first. This immediate element of excitement and
drama experienced by the reader in the beginning will no doubt have a
very positive first impression on the reader, as they will be absorbed
instantly by the fast pace and action.

McEwan also attempts to hook us with the use of a very interesting
narrator in the form of Joe Rose. He is a character who has the
technique of withholding details, which creates suspense - 'I'm
holding back, delaying the information'. This point is emphasized in
the fact that it takes three chapters for us to find out that Harry
Gadd came down safely. He is presented to us as a very imaginative,
deep thinking character, which we can see by the way he takes up
different perspectives on events - e.g. 'the buzzard'. He tells the
narrative in retrospect, which allows him to craft the narrative to
his desire by switching backwards and forwards on his thoughts giving
the reader a wider picture. But because he's telling the narrative in
retrospect he also seems to withhold information and some events are
unclear. For example we don't know if he was the first person to let
go of the balloon - 'around me -befo...


... middle of paper ...


...is much more believable.

The characters appearing in the novel are also quite intriguing and
will interest the reader. The most intriguing character will no doubt
be Jed Parry. He is a religious character and there are hints of him
being homosexual. There are big hints by Joe that he proves a major
role in the novel - 'had I known what this glance meant to him… I
would not have been so warm', although at present it is unclear, the
ominous signs are clearly present. He is also an unusual character,
which is denoted by his praying over the dead body of Logan. His phone
call to Joe at the end of chapter three gives it an almost cliffhanger
ending. Especially after his seemingly homosexual comments to Joe
readers will definitely be interested in this unusual character and
how he will play a major role in the narrative.

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