Obsession In Enduring Love Essay
Explore the ways in which McEwan presents obsession in Enduring Love
The theme of obsession is found in many different forms in Enduring
Love. McEwan uses language and the presentation of the characters to
explore the many different types of obsession. The most obvious
obsession in the novel is Jed’s obsession with Joe. As a reader, we
find this perhaps the most disturbing because of the intensity with
which it is presented. At the opening of the novel, immediately after
the accident, Joe walks down the hill to inspect Logan’s body and is
closely followed by Jed. McEwan uses language to great effect to
convey Jed’s obsession with religion and Jed’s dialogue to show his
eagerness to pray. ‘I mean you don’t have to believe in anything at
all, just let yourself do it and I promise you, I promise.’ The use of
repetition and the word ‘promise’ shows Jed pleading with Joe and
expresses his sincere beliefs. There is also a strangeness as Joe
decides to tell Parry the harsh truth of his religion ‘There’s no one
up there’ ‘Parry’s head was cocked, and the most joyous of smiles was
spreading across his face.’ This is a significant moment in the novel
as we discover later on that this was the point when Jed’s obsession
began and the moment on which the rest of the story is based.
McEwan uses religious imagery to convey the embarrassment felt by Joe
and passion of Jed’s beliefs. ‘…, as I saw it, to deliver me from the
radiating power of Jed Parry’s love and pity.’ The use of the verb ‘deliver’
has religious overtones and suggests deliverance in the same Christian
sense of Jesus ‘delivered’ mankind. McEwan also uses the phrase
‘radiating power’. This is particularly effective use of imagery as it
conveys the idea of Jed being the source of the obsession which
spreads out and affects those around him. Jed’s preoccupation with
religion and his obsession with Joe are intrinsically linked. Jed’s
strange behaviour towards Joe intensifies with his religious fervour.
McEwan demonstrates this in their second meeting. We begin to
understand Jed’s reasoning and motivation for needing Joe to pray.
‘The purpose is to bring you to the Christ that is in you and that is
you’ Placing emphasis on the word ‘purpose’ shows Jed’s intent and
ultimately the motivation behind his pursual of Joe. In a sense, Jed
is using his beliefs as justification for his obsession.
McEwan displays Jed’s need for Joe through the quotation ‘He was
watching my face with a kind of hunger, as desperation.’ ‘Hunger’ and
‘desperation’ give the reader a sense of the insatiable passion that
Jed feels for Joe. McEwan also presents Jed’s obsession through the
use of letters. These act rather like a soliloquy would and we are
able to see the character of Jed without Joe’s perception as the
narrator. The letters are perhaps the most disturbing part of the
obsession as McEwan reveals Jed’s raw emotion. ‘Joe, Joe, Joe….I’ll
confess, I covered five sheets of paper...
Loading: Checking Spelling0%
Protagonists Montresor and Fortunato in Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado542 words - 2 pages Protagonists Montresor and Fortunato in Poe's The Cask Of Amontillado Poe's story "The Cask Of Amontillado" introduces two protagonists, Montresor and Fortunato who were friends. The encounters the two men had was hatred and revenge that turned to murder on the behalf of Montressor. The encounter for Fortunato was the appearance of his naivety but he encountered a deadly consequence. Montressor was an angry but proud man who felt that the...
Obsession in "Wuthering Heights" Essay1629 words - 7 pages The word obsession is defined in the dictionary as: "a compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion." The novel "Wuthering Heights", is a story about love turned obsession. An obsession that leads the characters to be impulsive, vindictive, jealous and stupid. These obsessions run and ruin the lives of all the characters in Wuthering Heights. Their extreme passions have direct effects on the lives of others, and carry over into other...
The Hamlet Paradigm4548 words - 18 pages The Hamlet Paradigm Central Question of the Play How does an individual react when he develops an obsession with destroying the powerful force ruling his country, yet risks experiencing psychological estrangement, occurring at multiple levels within himself, if he attempts to destroy that force? This is the central question that Shakespeare explores in his play Hamlet, which is a character study of an individual harboring just such an...
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley.2463 words - 10 pages Consider the View that Frankenstein is a Story of Enduring Moral RelevanceI am going to investigate the view that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a book of enduring moral relevance. I will cover the topics of acceptance in society, revenge, ambition and the consequences of scientific discovery.The major theme in Frankenstein is the great emphasis placed on appearance and acceptance in society. In modern society as well as in the...
Grid-Iron Fever837 words - 3 pages Gridiron FeverDoes the sport of football have more than just one type of fan? Football fans are about as diverse as the universe in which all sports fans cheer, for most football fans don't even realize the blunt diversities amongst themselves. Often different flavors of football are attributed to the different aspects of a particular football...
Comparing Obsession in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley’s After Many A Summer Dies the1634 words - 7 pages Comparing Obsession in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley’s After Many A Summer Dies the Swan Authors leave fingerprints on the works they write. Underneath the story, hidden amidst the words, lies a worldview, a concept of humanity, a message. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is an entertaining story meant to give the reader goose bumps late at night, but the telling of the story also reveals Shelley’s concept about the basic...
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley1689 words - 7 pages Obsession is a state of troubling preoccupation, and is a mental state prominent in both Frankenstein and Rebecca; one which has extreme causes and effects. In Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein becomes obsessed with creating life, which later turns to obsession with destroying his creation. While in Rebecca, the main antagonist Mrs De Winter is obsessed with the deceased Rebecca. This unhealthy obsession later consumes the second Mrs De Winter. ...
Great Gatsby is a tragic hero940 words - 4 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a classic American tragedy. The novel has all the basic elements necessary to classify a story as a tragedy: a tragic hero, his character flaw, and a twist of fate which results in the hero's ultimate destruction. Jay Gatsby is the doomed tragic hero, blinded by his irrational dream to relive the past. Fate interferes in the form...
Obsession in Araby of James Joyce's Dubliners1110 words - 4 pages Obsession in Araby In James Joyce’s short story "Araby," the main character is a young boy who confuses obsession with love. This boy thinks he is in love with a young girl, but all of his thoughts, ideas, and actions show that he is merely obsessed. Throughout this short story, there are many examples that show the boy’s obsession for the girl. There is also evidence that shows the boy does not really understand love or all of the...
Othello Essay - Obsession1098 words - 4 pages Untitled OTHELLO - Obsession Obsession is when a...
obsession1175 words - 5 pages Obsession in Wuthering HeightsIn the cartoon Garfield, Garfield the cat highly obsesses over food and self-evaluation, which leads to harmful effects on not only himself but those around him. Similarly, in the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, this idea of obsession is evident through...
Essay on The Enduring Loyalty, Love, and Compassion of Eumaios
847 Words4 Pages
Imagine leaving your wealth, home, family, and even country behind for twenty years. While away, people will inevitably attempt to steal your possessions, seduce your spouse, and act as though you will never return. Most likely, more people will try to harm your estate than those who will continue working and behaving in an honest manner. This notion holds true in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. While Odysseus wages war and struggles to return to Ithaka , a multitude of suitors court his wife and live at the cost of his possessions. On the other hand, a few people like Eumaios remain steadfast to the truth and work to maintain Odysseus’ estate and possessions. Eumaios, Odysseus’ swineherd, embodies compassion, love, and loyalty.…show more content…
Imagine leaving your wealth, home, family, and even country behind for twenty years. While away, people will inevitably attempt to steal your possessions, seduce your spouse, and act as though you will never return. Most likely, more people will try to harm your estate than those who will continue working and behaving in an honest manner. This notion holds true in Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. While Odysseus wages war and struggles to return to Ithaka , a multitude of suitors court his wife and live at the cost of his possessions. On the other hand, a few people like Eumaios remain steadfast to the truth and work to maintain Odysseus’ estate and possessions. Eumaios, Odysseus’ swineherd, embodies compassion, love, and loyalty.
Throughout the poem, Homer portrays Eumaios as a compassionate character. Compassion, derived from the Greek word sympatheia and Latin term compassio, means feeling the suffering of another person. Essentially, Eumaios puts himself in the place of the misfortunate characters he encounters. To begin, when the Odysseus beggar arrives at the swineherd’s home, Eumaios tells him, “Come to the cabin. You’re a wanderer too. / You must eat something, drink some wine” (14.53-4). At this point, Eumaios does not know the true identity of the “wanderer.” He thinks the person merely needs his assistance. Not even knowing the person’s background, Eumaios benevolently invites the stranger into his home to give him food and shelter. In this same book, when the