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Aspects of Narrative in Enduring Love

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Joe Johnson

on 1 March 2011

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Transcript of Aspects of Narrative in Enduring Love

"The beginning is simple to mark." Opens with a short, simple sentence. Good hook. What is it the beginning of? "We were in sunlight under a turkey oak, partly protected from a strong, gusty wind." McEwan starts his Novel in an idyllic country setting "I was kneeling in the grass with a corkscrew in my hand, and Clarissa was passing me the bottle - a 1987 Daumas Gassac." "This was the moment, this was the pinprick on the time map:" We immediately meet the two main characters and know one is narrating the story. We can also deduce that he is very precise in his descriptions. We are intrigued as to why, at the beginning of the Novel, it seems to be such an important moment in time. "We turned to look across the field and saw the danger. Next thing, I was running towards it." This seems an odd thing to do. Run toward danger. This shows the main character is brave. "I don't recall dropping the corkscrew...or hearing the caution Clarissa called after me." This quotation reveals that we are not receiving a perfect recollection of events but as they are perceived by Joe. The alliteration draws the reader into feeling they can almost hear Clarissa calling after him. "I see us from three hundred feet up, through the eyes of the buzzard we had watched earlier." McEwan changes the point of view to suspend time.
It heightens the drama and shows that the narrator, Joe, is trying to be objective as he tells the story. This is a feature of the Novel and the author elevates his character to a role akin to an omnisceint narrator as if to emphasise the fact that he is not. Openings Voices in the text/points of view Plots/Incidents/Events Time and Sequence Characters Scenes and Places
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