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Analysing an Extract From Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 912
  • Category: Love

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The opening of Enduring Love is very effective for many reasons, such as McEwan’s choice of words, the styles and techniques of his writing, and the themes that are introduced. McEwan intentionally places certain phrases throughout the opening that capture a reader and therefore provoke a sense of curiosity in the reader which motivates the reader to continue reading. The first example is, “We heard a man’s shout” which is a short and basic phrase, but this allows the reader to wonder what is about to happen next.

This phrase creates an atmosphere of panic and emergency because the man is shouting. The ideas here are clear and the reader is immediately caught because he/she is curious to see how these ideas are going to develop, who this man is and his significance in the play. Other examples which show a sense of dramatic tension and panic in the extract are “we saw the danger” and “Next thing I knew I was running towards it. ” All of these segments of the opening will eventually leave out who this man actually is, what the “danger” actually is and therefore, what he’s running to.

McEwan uses repetition in the extract in order to illustrate a sense of mystery and re-enforce the importance of this particular moment to the reader. In the first line McEwan shows the reader that “this was the moment; this was the pinprick on the time map. ” This phrase makes the reader feel as if something important and significant is about to happen. McEwan also uses a metaphor in this phrase, “pinprick on the time map. ” In this metaphor, a pinprick is like a compass and it is being compared to a time map. McEwan uses many metaphors throughout his text in order to compare different ideas, emotions or feelings together.

An example of this is when McEwan is “racing into this story with all its labyrinths sprinting away from” his “happiness. ” This metaphor is very strong due to the fact that McEwan is “racing into this story” which shows that he is very excited as well as the reader who carries on in order to find out what the “story” is going to be about. This metaphor is therefore very effective. McEwan also describes this story as one which is very complicated and full of mazes by using the word “Labyrinths. ” Also, he was “sprinting away” from his “happiness.

This metaphor is very dramatic because you cannot sprint away from your own happiness and this is therefore a very ironic phrase. This makes the reader feel emotional towards Ian because he is “sprinting away” from his own “happiness” in order to help the man who is shouting and seems to be in danger. McEwan uses other metaphors in order to compare the weather with loud and unpleasant sounds. An example of this is when McEwan describes “the wind that roared. ” This metaphor is a very strong metaphor because it describes the wind with the sound of roaring which is generally a sound which is made by a lion.

The reader then begins to feel that there is an element of mystery in the text as a feeling that something bad and eerie is about to take place. Finally McEwan uses a metaphor to compare innocence and grief. He does this in order to expose his emotions to the reader. He does this by telling the reader that that he ran towards Parry like a lover “innocent of the grief this entanglement would bring. ” This is an effective phrase because the word entanglement is used to describe Parry and himself falling into each others arms. The word “entanglement” is normally used to describe threads, hair, string etc… r anything else which is very fine.

However, in these circumstances, the word entanglement makes the reader feel that Parry and Ian are really in love and that they are innocent lovers as McEwan has suggested. McEwan uses some similes as another technique of comparing his and Parry’s actions. We are told that they were “rushing towards each other like lovers. ” This phrase is very effective because the two boys rushing towards each other is being related to an act of love. The way McEwan makes this comparison is very touching and makes the reader feel very emotional towards Parry and Ian as young boys.

Many sounds are used in the extract in order to convey an atmosphere of panic and to build up tension in the story. As well as the sounds which I have already mentioned in the first paragraph, McEwan describes a “child’s cry” which is “enfeebled by the wind. ” These examples of sounds are very sensational. This is because a child’s cry is being described and the child’s cry is followed by the “man’s shout. ” McEwan then describes that the child’s cry is “enfeebled by the wind” which is very effective because it shows the word enfeebled implies that something is being weakened and the child is probably young, weak and cannot defend himself.

Finally, the Rule Of Three is used in order to emphasize the buzzard (eagle’s) movements. McEwan explains that the buzzard was “soaring, cricling” and “dipping. ” These words are most effective in describing the eagle’s swift movements because they contrast the eagle’s gentle movements with the shouting and crying which were described earlier on in the extract. This makes the reader feel that there is an element of peace in the extract after all!

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