How Does the Author Tell the Story in Chapter 1 of Enduring Love?

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In chapter 1, McEwan tells the story of how Joe Rose’s life is changed by a ballooning accident. The chapter starts with him reuniting with his partner, Claire, followed up by their picnic in the Chilterns. It then moves on to the events leading up to the accident, and finishes dramatically with the accident itself. Underlying the story are philosophical ideas surrounding morality and the contrast in his writing may be hinting at the narrator’s disbelief at the situation. McEwan tells the story through his first person narrator, Joe. His ideas come across as contrasting, maybe hinting at his future lack of structure as a result of these events and the trauma they cause. The first sentence in the chapter is ‘The beginning is simple to mark,’ however in this chapter alone there are many theories and ideas thrown out there despite very little information being given away. He explains this by saying later “I am holding back the laying information”…”because this was a time when other outcomes were still possible”. With this, Joe describes many things in his current situation such as his girlfriend and the different settings in a large amount of detail, however, the one thing he does not describe once and the reader is given no information on is Joe himself- this could have a deeper meaning in the sense that Joe may be a man who always thinks about other people (however this may be contrasted with his deep sorrow and feeling of selfishness for releasing the balloon). Alongside this, through narration the readers may be able to pick up the fact that Joe is detached or lost in thought in certain situations, such as the long dragging out description of when he was running towards the balloon which is normally something which would not be thought about in a life or death situation. Furthermore, the fact that Joe does not hear what the pilot is saying and simply thinks to his

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