S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Ways of Seeing

Enduring Love can be read in a variety of ways. It is a tale about love, but primarily about the mysteries of love: the love, which endures between Joe and Clarissa and the unwanted love from Jed, which has to be endured. There are many varieties of love encountered within the novel but all of them are touched by an irrationality, which we cannot safely confine to the religious fanatic Jed.

The actions of love can force all of us to succumb to radical change; Joe and Clarissa drift apart and as they do McEwan encourages us to take sides. The novel is also concerned with the competing claims of art and science, with the different ways they try to make sense of the world, how they may work together and how they may be threatened by the other; Joe and Clarissa represent these two ways; hence another major theme, desire for objectivity, the power of having the right perspective, a certainty Jed claims without science or art.

Faith becomes a focus too, Jed has faith in God, but how much does Clarissa have in Joe, or Jean Logan in her supposedly adulterous husband? It is also a story about telling stories, at points we don't know whose narrative to trust despite, or maybe because of the different perspectives we're offered, including Wenn and Camia's bogus scientific paper in Appendix One.

Major Areas of Study

Love

Language and Character

Science versus Art

The Catastrophe

Narrative

Children

Faith and Forgiveness

Objectivity

Irrationality