Ian McEwan's Enduring Love Essay

Ian McEwan's Enduring Love Essay

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Rating: Strong Essays

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Ian McEwan's Enduring Love


Evident throughout the entire plot of ‘Enduring Love’, Ian McEwan
fuses three different genres: love story, detective story and
thriller. Each genre I believe has a set of expectations that captures
the reader urging them to read on, for example a thriller genre would
stereotypically be led by a fast, tense pace with characters easily
identifiable as ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’. Different, fresh and ‘novel’
McEwan establishes his break up of typical genres as he mixes the
elements of the three main genres and purposely doesn’t stick to their
rigid framework that many authors swear by. It is however important to
assess to what extent that McEwan successfully combines these genres
and how effective his method is.

During the exposition of ‘Enduring Love’, McEwan attempts to “entice
the reader into making that commitment” creating an “addictive
quality” which I believe he does so by incorporating several stylistic
devices, flowing from one to the other throughout the entire of the
first chapter. Focusing particularly on the action of the event Joe is
describing, McEwan incorporates parts of the romance genre and the
detective story, switching from one to the other frequently. “We set
off down our path arm in arm…the warmth and tranquillity in her
voice”, Concentrating on the ‘romance’ genre, McEwan allows the reader
to feel a connection with Joe as we are made aware of his emotions for
Clarissa. Exploring different themes of love, we become acquainted
with Clarissa’s love of Keats poetry, “Clarissa’s interest in these
hypothetical letters had something to do with our own situation” and
the love for others surrounding Joe at the station “it was smiles and
hugs, and in thirty-five m...


... middle of paper ...


...he is telling her. “Don’t get angry
with me, Joe. You didn’t see his face, and he wasn’t in the square”.

To conclude, I believe that it is correct to state that “Enduring Love
gracefully bridges genres”, as McEwan intervenes from one genre to
another successfully without a break up in the plot. The only
exception of this is, I believe is the chapter in which the ‘thriller’
genre is introduced as I believe that it is out of character for Joe
to go such an extreme and this is the only part of the book that I
felt I was not a part of, as McEwan failed to engage me fully with the
lack of realism. It could however be argued that this was McEwan’s
intention to alienate this chapter to depict the message that it is
possible for anyone, however radical and intelligent to take such
extreme actions under the ‘given circumstances’ and the pressures that
Joe faced.

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