Chapter 2 Although passion is not dealt with directly in this chapter, if you consider that Joe was passionate about the balloon incident then the following points can be made: “I was wild by now, ready to fight, run, dance, you name it” (page 20) Joe is clearly caught up in the moment, and his adrenaline has kicked in. Adrenaline itself can be seen as a form of liberation as it frees the body of its restrictions, and as the ‘fight or flight response theory’ says, allows you to escape dangerous situations, freeing yourself. the mania began to subside and I felt trapped and lonely in my decision” (page 21) This same excitement has now disappeared and he is imprisoned by his decision to go forward and investigate, as “to turn back would mean humiliation” for him.
His desire to take control of the situation has led to him being in an ironically undesirable situation. This chapter also offers the first hints about Jed’s “long winter of obsession”, and although there are often references to the future they rarely tie in to the coursework title. ’What we could do, he said with a seriousness which warned against mockery, ‘is to pray together’” (page 25) Jed’s passion for religion has given him a means of liberation from the grim reality of the incident, as he believes that prayer will help them. However, this then backfires and his need to prayer imprisons him to be alone in prayer, as Joe will not join in. Chapter 4 Page 42 “My tormentor stirred... ” The love that Jed is creating in his imagination is making Joe constantly feel anxious and is imprisoning his thoughts and only allowing him to focus on Jed. Page 40 “…I returned his passion…”
Because he is talking about this passion it is liberating him by getting it off his chest. Page 44 “I was scared of what it would do to me” He is talking about this situation with Jed and we can see that this obsession and passion from Jed is creating mixed emotions and creating this presence that Joe feels is constantly surrounding him. Chapter 5 - "I had already travelled some distance that evening from the time I had come in and had wanted only to talk to Clarissa about Parry" Imprisoning Joe as Jed is constantly on his mind and in his thoughts, even when spending time with Clarissa. "I love you" Carissa’s passion is liberated for Joe. - "He felt it too? " The whole situation with Jed traps Joe into this thought that he doesn't know the answer to. Chapter 6 Pg 59 middle of pg . “I almost said, or following me, but something held me back. ” By Joe not telling Jed that he does not want him to stop following him, it leaves Jed with the option to continue following joe without calling. As seen later in the novel, Jed does not call Joe as much butt continues to follow Joe, by writing letters and looking at his research.
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This imprisons Joe because Jed’s passion and love for him leads to Jed stalking him and becoming a dangerous threat to Joe and later Clarissa. Pg 56 above middle. “my cell, my guilt? ” Joe feels guilty about the death of John Logan and feels he should go and tell Jean Logan (wife) . Joe wants to keep the fact that he thinks he caused john logan’s death by letting go of the balloon imprisons him because when he eventually goes to visit Jean Logan with his premeditated speech prepared about how John was brave etc.
Is not appreciated by mrs logan because she asks him to find out if her husband was cheating on her. This imprisons him because he cannot get in touch with anyone else but Parry, the man who is passionately in love with him. Pg 60. “when this story was closed it would be important to know something about Parry” I think what is being said is that because Joe is so passionate about science, he treats meeting Parry as some kind of experiment, he HAS to find SOMETHING out about him, and I believe Joe’s passion for science and wanting o know more imprisons him because he agrees to meet Jed. This leads to Jed thinking(in ch 7) that Joe sends more signals and then Jed’s obsessive love imprisons Joe throughout the novel Chapter 7 1) “You love me and there’s nothing I can do but return your love… I don’t know why you have chosen me. All I know is that I love you too now…” (Jed to Joe) (Imprisoning) This quote suggests that the assumed love that Joe has for Jed is imprisoning him because he has no choice but to give it back so he doesn’t necessarily feel liberated by the love given to him.
This quote can also suggest that Jed may feel liberated by Joe because he says that Joe has chosen him which means he has been selected from and preferred above others. 2) “I was quite interested to know, although I also wanted to get away” (Joe to Jed) (Imprisoning) Although Joe is obviously feeling uncomfortable and awkward around Jed, he is still reluctant to leave him and still pushes to ask him questions even though he thinks Jed accusations are obscene. This might make feel Joe feel imprisoned because his actions can not reflect his mind because of the affect Jed has on him. ) “He was watching my face with a kind of hunger, a desperation” (Joe) (Liberating) Joe described the way Jed was looking at him like he was desperate which may suggest Jed relies on him to liberate him from whatever pain he is going through. This indicates that Jed needs their love to liberate him and is also desperate for it. 4) “I was feeling suffocated…” (Joe) (Imprisoning) The fact that Joe uses the word suffocated suggests that Joe feels that Jed is preventing him from his right of living with both his presence and ways of thinking.
The fresh air that Joe once had in his life has been cut off by the discomfort of Jed. Chapter 8 Jed seems to be imprisoning Joe from the very beginning of the chapter ‘I heard his voice on the monitor echo in the hall behind me. Joe, God’s love will seek you out’ he is unable to escape Parry ‘I went back to the hall and turned the monitor volume down’ the use of ‘echo’ is effective because it portrays how Parry is now all around him; he is unable to break away from the situation which seems unreal, he is constantly being reminded of their apparent ‘love. ’ In the bathroom I splashed my face with cold water... it’s almost as though Joe cannot grasp the reality of the situation, he even has to splash his face with cold water to wake him up. He feels imprisoned by Jed’s love and is confused as to why Jed is so obsessed ‘Wondering what it would be like to be obsessed by someone like me’ Joe is terrified by the situation, he related back to the ballooning incident when they were having a picnic and Clarissa handed him a bottle of wine. He is trying to work out when the obsessions began and what triggered them. He is unable to escape Parry who has become so close to him now emotionally and physically.
Joe feels the need to trace back to solve the situation which shows how serious it has become and how much it is now bothering him, it is affected his relationship with Clarissa. This is highlighted by the face Jed cannot escape from him in his own home; he results to turning of the answering machine. By the end of the chapter Joe has been affected ‘I thought, I’m in a relationship’ shows how Jed has the power to make Joe feel as though he is trapped in a relationship with him, he feels emotionally connected with him and is unable to break away.
Parry could also be considered to be imprisoned by his love for Joe, ‘ he was always there, staring at the entrance, like a dog tied up outside the shop’ he is waiting just to speak to Joe who has described him as an animal possible because of his lack of care felt towards him. Furthermore, Parry is searching for signals ‘Joe, Brilliant idea with the curtains. I got it straight away? All I wanted to say is this. I feel it too. I really do’ he is seeking any little possibility that they could be together. In addition, he is trying to relate to Joe’s feelings to feel emotionally close.
Chapter 9 ‘They rarely row, Clarissa and Joe. She is especially bad at arguments. She has never been able to accept the rules of engagement which permit or require you to say things that you do not mean, or are distorted truths or not true at all. She can’t help feeling that every utterance of hers takes her further not only from Joe’s love, but from all the love she’s ever had, and makes her feel that a buried meanness has been exposed that truly represents her’
- This shows that passion can be imprisoning because it’s causing her not to say things because she’s frightened she’ll lose him. Causing her to think less highly of herself
- Clarissa’s personality is being held hostage by this fear of rejection
- We need to bear in mind that Clarissa and Joe are very comfortable with each other, these things are routine
- We can prove it because while Clarissa is in the bath washing, Joe is sitting in the room having a conversation with her.
‘His emotions are slow to shift to anger in the first place. ’ ‘Your only concern is I’m not massaging your damned feet after your hard day’ ‘Also it’s particularly hard to be harsh to Clarissa because she is so easy to wound. Angry words leave an instant mark of pain across her face’
- Jed’s passion for Joe provokes a kind of liberation in that Joe undergoes a personality change and breaks his own rules on what to say to Clarissa. ‘This reference to a recent tender half hour shows Joe as much as Clarissa. He had no resentment at the time, in fact he enjoyed it’
- This causes him to experience pleasure while hurting her. Clarissa leaves the room; ‘While it’s still delicious to feel wronged’ Ironically, she feels happy because Joe has hurt her. He feels he wouldn’t mind picking up the dressing table stool and throwing it through the window’ It is liberating because Joe wants to express and express his personality.
Chapter 10 “Parry of course was to blame for coming between Clarissa and me... ” This shows how Parry’s passion towards Joe imprisons Joe, as it is ruining his relationship with Clarissa. So it is imprisoning Joe and also Clarissa showing that, passion can not only be imprisoning for the two people involved but can also affect those around as well. ‘high railings and perhaps some kind of military presence, a security guard or sentry. This shows one of the many references to prisons and imprisoned places during the book. Showing that as he saw his after Jed that it refers to how his passion is imprisoning Joe. “What do you want? ... Parry’s sobs got the better of him then. ” This shows how Jed lets his emotions get the better of him and he almost explodes.
He becomes out of control, his passion imprisons himself, and he does things that maybe aren’t seen as normal and this shows how he is feeling used and tortured and that he can’t get away from Joe, so he is imprisoned by him. “I thought of Clarissa with a sudden leap of cheerful love... Here passion is shown to be liberating. As Joes passion towards Clarissa helps him, makes him happy and almost hopeful. It also seems to help him pull through all the nastiness he just experienced. Chapter 11 (Jed’s first letter) Page 94 - “And you, constrained as you are by your situation and by your sensitivity to Clarissa’s feelings” In Jed’s letter, he says that he understands why Joe cannot contact him directly and obviously. Jed feels that this is because Joe’s passion for Clarissa is imprisoning him by preventing him from contacting Jed, which Jed feels is what Joe wants to do.
Page 94 - 95 – “What I’m trying to say is, you’ve seen my soul (I’m certain of that), and you know how to reach deeper into me, but you know next to nothing about the ordinary details of my life – how I live, where I live, my past, my story. It’s only the outer clothing, I know, but our love has to include it all” Passion is liberating as, according to Jed, his passion for Joe means that Jed can tell Joe everything about him. Passion is liberating because Jed’s “soul” has been revealed to Joe.
However, it could also be said that passion is imprisoning as Jed says “our love has to include it all”, which could be seen as imprisoning as it means Joe has to know everything about Jed and Jed has to know everything about Joe. This could be imprisoning as it means they have no privacy. Page 97 – “Does it horrify you that I can see through you so easily? I hope it thrills you, the way it thrills me when you guide me with your messages, these codes that tap straight into my soul” Jed believes that he completely understands Joe, because of their love.
This passion is liberating as Jed believes that his passion for Joe has given him the ability to understand him easily. Chapter 13 “I wanted to suggest that we talked in the garden, under the blossom, in the fresh air. ” Top of page 113 This particular quote could be taking very literally; Joe feels imprisoned in the house, trapped by Mrs Logan’s passionate grief over the death of her husband. “If she comes near this house,” Jean Logan said simply as the door behind us opened and two children came into the room, “I’ll kill her. God help me but I will. Page 117 last paragraph. This quote is a good example of just how imprisoned by passion Mrs Logan is. With the picnic that she has kept, and the over-analysis of the rose water on the scarf, along with this quote we can tell how trapped by the idea of her husband having an affair she is. However, whether her husband turns out to have been cheating or not, both outcomes will be distressing for her. If he really was she will have to live with the idea that she was unfaithful, if he never did she has to live with the knowledge that she suspected him, even after he died a hero.
On the other hand it could also be said that she is liberated by this passion as it gives her something to focus on other than the loss of her husband. “Imagining what it would mean… and save our love. ” Page 112, Second paragraph. Seeing Mrs Logan’s grief reignites in Joe his passion for Clarissa, which in turn liberates him from his obsession with Jed, albeit only temporarily. He realises that he needs to try to save their relationship. Chapter 14 pg118 “It was with a touch of sadness that Clarissa sometimes told me that I would have made a wonderful father. Here, Joe’s love for Clarissa is presented as being imprisoning as Joe is willing (and happy) to stay with Clarissa despite saying that love’s only use was reproduction. It is ironic that later in the book Joe and Clarissa adopt a child, have his attitudes changed towards the purpose of love? Joe’s passion for rationality might restrict him from committing to Clarissa as they cannot reproduce together. Joe is torn between his want or even need to be a father, and wanting to stay with the love of his life.
Pg118 “I see myself through that child’s eyes, and remember how I regarded adults when I was small. They seemed a grey crew to me, too fond of sitting down, too keen on small talk, too accustomed to having nothing to look forward to. ” The notion of rationality being a kind of innocence or naivety as pointed out by Clarissa is reinforced here. Adults are often restricted by commitments, duties, morals etc. Childhood can be considered a small period of freedom as children do not have the duties or commitments that an adult does.
Thus, Joe is liberated by his passion for rationality (if we adopt the view that rationality is a kind of innocence) as he is not confined by the 9-5 regularity of a mundane adult life. pg121 “Was my life to be entirely subordinate to other people’s obsessions? ” It is clear that Joe is imprisoned by Jed’s love towards him, as he himself develops an obsession with finding threats in Jed’s actions. This comes very close to ruining Joe and Clarissa’s relationship. Therefore we can say that Jed’s love for Joe is imprisoning for Joe as he is in a mental cage of which he cannot escape.
At this point, Joe is talking about being subordinate to Jean Logan’s obsession about finding the truth about her late husband. The book is very centred on obsessions and the fact that McEwan infers that Joe’s mental health is gradually deteriorating shows that Joe is being destroyed by the obsessions. Tension is also built, as again Joe cannot escape from them. Why does Joe agree to phone the other people from the accident when he seems so intent on avoiding further trouble? Chapter 15 “He (Parry) said, ‘I’m pretty well off you know. I can get people to do things for me.
Anything I want. There’s always someone who needs the money. What’s surprising is how cheap it is, you know, for something you’d never do yourself? ’” Though at the time Parry seems to be referring to the ease of hiring a researcher, the subtle threat that lies underneath these words stems from his passion (as does pretty much anything Parry does) and he ends up trapping Joe, who will now have to go around worrying about what Parry could do. “We were so happy in our reunion, so easy with each other, and now I could not quite imagine a route back into that innocence. Thanks to the passion of the last few weeks; both Jed’s passion for Joe and Joe’s speculated return passion for Jed, both Joe and Clarissa (and pretty much every other character) are now trapped, waiting for the story they are in to unfold, and cannot get back to the way things were. Chapter 16 Jed’s - Second Letter Page 133 – “He needs my help, I told myself whenever I came close to giving up, he needs me to set him free from his little cage of reason. ” Jed feels that his passion for Joe and his passion for his faith can liberate Joe from his beliefs in science and “reason”.
Joe’s passion for science is imprisoning him in a “cage of reason” where he cannot understand faith. Page 136 – “one day you’ll be glad to say, deliver me from meaninglessness” Jed believes that his passion for his faith will make Joe want to be liberated from the “meaninglessness” of science and reason. Page 137 – “In four years’ journalism, not a word about the real things like love and faith. ” Passion is imprisoning because Joe’s passion for science is imprisoning him for expressing and believing in the importance of “love and faith”. Chapter 17
Pg141 “I had started this love affair and I should therefore face my responsabilities towards him. ” Jed’s obsession with Joe has now become so intrinsic to Joe’s life that he is led to believe that he is the cause of it. Jed’s letters are persuasive enough that Joe almost seems to accept that it was he who started Parry’s erotomania, this imprisons Joe as he thinks he is to blame… and possibly to blame for the breakdown of his and Clarissa’s relationship as he also reflects again upon his luck of his ending up with Clarissa if he is so “oafishly large and coarse”(pg140) – makes Joe feel inadequate “I wanted more than that (hint of threat).
I longed for it. Please put the weapon in my hands, Jed. One little threat would have given me enough to take to the police, but he denied me. ” Joe is in a sort of limbo, the obsession is too much for Joe to just ignore, but too small for the police to take any sort of action. Therefore, Joe is restricted by Jed’s love as although he might say something in his letters that Joe could meticulously infer was a threat, Jed’s love for Joe is too strong for him to be overtly threatening. Pg143 “This was love’s prison of self-reference. ” Jed’s solipsism is imprisoning as said by Joe, for Joe or Jed?
Jed refuses to be affected by external factors as Joe tries to create these signals himself, he lives in his own world creating his own signals that supposedly come from Joe. Chapter 18 “Clarissa thought her emotions were the appropriate guide, that she could feel her way to the truth” This shows passion to be almost liberating as Clarissa believes her passion towards Joe, and almost her passion towards emotion and her beliefs will bring her to the ‘truth’ and will help her to find what she needs. “I gathered all Parry’s letters together... lacing each in a plastic folder. ” Here we see how passion can be imprisoning, as Jed’s passion for Joe is imprisoning Joe, as it has made Joe obsessive in a way and makes him feel like he needs to spend a lot of time on this. So we see that is it bothering him, as he can’t do anything about it and so it is constantly on his mind. “it’s because one of our little playful episodes brought me for the first time in my life... on the edge of the invisible pitch. ” Here we see how Joe’s passion for Clarissa and also reading and broadening his mind both are liberating to him.
As we see how this is a significant moment for Joe, which has stuck in his mind because it mixed the two things he was so passionate about, which obviously made him happy. Analysis of Chapter 22 In this chapter, Jed Parry’s emotions are presented clearly, he feels emotionally imprisoned by his love for Joe, and has forbidden Clarissa to leave the apartment. In this chapter, Joe’s emotions reach the peak, this is shown because previous chapters he states how ‘alone’ he feels which lead him to purchase the gun for protection.
The authorities have ignored Joe’s cause of concerns which leaves him feeling imprisoned and following a criminal root to resolve the situation. His imprisonment is presented when he says ‘It was just another of those inert devices you wrap at home after shopping- mobile phone, VTR, microwave- and wonder how difficult it’s going to be to bring it to life’ he is trying to come to terms with the situation by relating it to things that he is familiar with such as home devices.
- ‘These are the rumbling giants of this lower world for not far below the hreshold of visibility was the seething world of roundworms- the scavengers and the predators who red on them... ’
This reference to nature’s cycle possibly portrays his feelings towards the situation with Jed, that beneath the surface there are always complications for instance Jed’s emotions are deeper- it is an illness. Furthermore, the problems are not always visible just like Jed’s illness people are not listening to Joe which is making him imprisoned. Possibly the cycle reflects how Joe feels trapped in an emotional rollercoaster with Jed, unable to escape like the creatures who are in a food chain cycle. ‘Round the back, where the dustbins were kept, was a locked fire escape for which only residents had the key’ Another cycle has been created, as Joe says ‘I haven’t been out here since the morning after Logan’s accident, after Parry’s phone call’ as we are taken back to when everything went wrong- the ballooning accident. Possibly the cycle portrays how trapped Joe feels unable to break away from Jed’s love, and feeling alone with no support from the authorities. Several relations to cycles emphasises how enclosed Joe feels. Chapter 23 We’ve loved each other passionately and loyally. Their love for each other has both liberated them.
On the one hand, Joe’s love and passion for Clarissa drives him to keep things from her and eventually results in him shooting Parry before he could do any damage but he is liberated from the relationship (at the time) because Clarissa still wants time apart. Perhaps it became a substitute for the science you wanted to be doing Joe’s passion for science makes Clarissa believe that Jed was like a science experiment to Joe, and because Joe is so passionate about science he threw himself into researching everything he could about Jed but he imprisoned himself and became more distant and isolated from Clarissa.
Chapter 24 “I dreaded more personal talk in such an enclosed space” (page 222) Their previous passion now means they cannot be so close together and quotes such as the above, or “we were in six feet of space, shoulder to shoulder in fact” suggest that they are imprisoned together, even though Joe desires liberation from the situation. “A rule never to be seen together in Oxford” (page 228) Even though Bonnie and Reid seem to love each other, the fact that they are a teacher and student means they are imprisoned to not be seen around Oxford.
Another side of the argument is that passion has liberated Reid, as he feels that “it’ll be a relief to resign”. “But who’s going to forgive me? ” (page 230) Jean Logan will now likely be imprisoned by guilt for the rest of her life, as she falsely accused John of an affair; her passion for him led to her almost going insane and coming up to baseless conclusions, much as Jed did, and now she is suffering for it. Appendix The whole letter
This letter is ironic due to the fact that his enduring love and passion for Joe has mentally imprisoned him as well as physically imprisoning him. Page 245 “I’ve never felt so free” This phrase is completely ironic as Jed believes that his love and passion for Joe has freed him however his love and passion for Joe has imprisoned him in a mental asylum. Page 245 “Thank you for loving me” The idea that this passion he feels for Joe is real and reciprocated is one of the various imprisoning thoughts in Jed’s head.
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