How Does Ian Mcewan Create Tension in the Opening of Enduring Love?

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Written in a first person narrative, Enduring Love displays tension in a cumulative manner. Ian McEwan uses a range of devices to show the build-up of tension, through the use of form, structure and language McEwan effectively captures the reader’s attention through suspense. McEwan uses short sentences and sentence fluency to create tension for example “I ran faster.” this device effectively makes the actions and the story move faster, when the pace is quickened it creates a sense of urgency, frankness and realism. This makes the reader feel like they are part of the unfolding situation. Comparable to the beginning of the novel McEwan immediately dives into the plot with the objective being to captivating the reader, he starts the novel with the sentence “The beginning is simple to mark”, and by using the word ‘beginning’ it leaves the reader to suggest that an important event is going to take place. This sentence is used to create suspense that leads the reader to carry on out of curiosity and uncertainty, the short length of the sentence conveys a bluntness which leaves more emotional impact. Ironically the narrator, who is also the protagonist: Joe, claims the beginning of the story to be ‘simple’ yet his frequent digression and evading of the topic makes it seem far from. This is another device McEwan uses, Joe's tendencies to have his thoughts diverted elsewhere lengthens the narrative, essentially building up tension for the readers. McEwan uses the narrator’s euphemistic persona to build tension demonstrated through the way he withholds vital information with the use of euphemisms, “saw the danger”, “running towards it”, the narrator intentionally omits what the situation is by identifying it as “the danger” or “it”. One of the other methods McEwan uses to prolong the narrative is the use of the protagonist’s immensely precise nature; this is
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