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Mcewan's Presentation Of Joe In 'enduring Love'

1021 words - 5 pages

Pages 62-65, Chapter 7: Discuss how McEwan presents Joe in this extract

In this chapter we see Joe shown with a slightly more coarse side, he shows he has little time or sympathy for Jed and does not sympathise with his emotions. Jed appears to bring out a change in Joe which seems to emphasise his negatives. A prime chapter illustrating this point is chapter 7.
Jed’s obsession with Joe intimidates him. At the start of the novel it is not obvious Jed has an unnatural interest in Joe, although when Jed asks Joe to pray with him there’s a sense of discomfort, however it is clear Joe’s resistance to Jed aggravates him and drives him to try and bring him round to a new way of thinking, ...view middle of the document...

The first quote evokes images of Jesus, and as well as this his exclamation to “God” enforces the religious aspects. This therefore makes Joe feel more and more uncomfortable, as being a man of science, doesn’t see religion in the best light. Joe is a man of reason and doesn’t want believe or be around someone who is assertive with this outlook. Instead of perhaps sympathy it is instead evident he felt threatened by this movement, or is uncomfortable with this as he starts “calculating the physical danger he presented”. This shows he is insensitive to Jed’s vulnerability and instead of offering support retaliates emotionally with an outlook of Jed being hostile. This is ironic as later on in the play Jed turns out to be just this. It is earlier evident that he struggles with the emotional side of things. Throughout the novel he substitutes emotions with what he perceives as the physical equivalent, for example he replaces the feeling of love with physical act of sex. When he tries to deal with Parry’s comment of how he “can’t control my feelings the way you can” to which he responds “Believe me, I have no feelings to control”. Joe finds it a lot easier to turn emotions away than deal with them. He avoids speaking about the ballooning accident; he desperately tries to escape the idea that he could’ve been the first one to let go.
Where he struggles with emotional aspects, His ability to weigh up situations through the use of his eyes, demonstrates his scientific background. He notices insignificant things about Parry, for instance when he speaks about how he “glanced at Parry’s shoes. No trainers today. Soft brown leather shoes, handmade perhaps.” This demonstrates his observational skill....

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