The Effectiveness of Chapter One of Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

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The Effectiveness of Chapter One of Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

In a novel the opening chapter has to be effective in order to keep the reader interested and to keep them reading on until the very end. In the Novel 'Enduring Love', Ian McEwan, the author, evidently aimed to write an opening chapter that grasped the reader's attention from the outset of the novel, throwing them into the deep end of the story and into the thick of the action. In my opinion he has achieved in doing this. At the end of chapter one, the reader is left with a thirst for more information, information about the characters introduced and more about the tragedy that has unfolded. The way in which the chapter is written make
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He further hints that the disaster about to unfold is life changing, "This was the last time that I understood anything clearly at all." McEwan then sets the atmosphere and describes the events prior to the disaster, "I heard what was coming two seconds before it reached us." After this McEwan goes on to describe the wind on the fateful day using verbs to describe the strength of it, "hurtling" and "transversing" implying that the wind plays a most important part in what is about to happen; But before the narrator goes any further he says "Let me freeze the frame", which shows that the narrator, McEwan, is looking back on events and this explains the structure of the first chapter, how it moves focus from one point to another hastily, and never uniformly, on different tangents. McEwan uses this technique to build the tension up further, and to whip the reader back into the action of the novel once more after moving off on another tangent. This helps and encourages the reader to focus and picture what is actually happening, whilst at the same time, it's an opportunity for the narrator to introduce broader horizon to the characters and events. This is a deliberate narrative technique used by McEwan.

McEwan also uses Symbolism in the first

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