Enduring Love

by

Ian McEwan

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Jed Parry is the antagonist of Enduring Love. An isolated and lonely recipient of a significant inheritance, he’s a deeply religious man who suffers from de Clerambault’s syndrome, which gives a person delusions of love. Due to his condition, Parry spends the bulk of the novel stalking Joe Rose, whom he met during the ballooning accident. Parry believes that a glance he and Joe exchanged in the tragedy’s aftermath indicated a spontaneous blooming of love between the two men and that he alone can bring Joe to religious faith by means of their relationship. Like Clarissa, Parry holds a view of the world that stands in marked contrast to Joe’s rationalism. Yet, in Parry’s case, that worldview is not, like Clarissa’s intuitiveness, a legitimate alternative but, rather, a psychotic anti-rationalism that Joe must unequivocally resist. Because Parry’s feelings for Joe are a product of both faith (which, by definition, stands apart from reason) and mental illness, they cannot be argued away. Indeed, as the novel progresses, Parry becomes increasingly unstable, attempting to murder Joe and ultimately taking Clarissa prisoner before threatening suicide. As the book ends, Parry has been arrested and taken into psychiatric care

Jed Parry Quotes in Enduring Love

The Enduring Love quotes below are all either spoken by Jed Parry or refer to Jed Parry. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Importance of Loyalty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Enduring Love published in 1998.
Chapter 1 Quotes

To the buzzard, Parry and I were tiny forms, our white shirts brilliant against the green, rushing toward each other like lovers, innocent of the grief this entanglement would bring.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

I should make something clear. There may have been a vague communality of purpose, but we were never a team. There was no chance, no time. Coincidences of time and place, a predisposition to help, had brought us together under the balloon. No one was in charge—or everyone was, and we were in a shouting match.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry, John Logan, James Gadd, Joseph Lacey, Toby Greene
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

Every fraction of a second that passed increased the drop, and the point must come when to let go would be impossible or fatal. And compared with me, Harry was safe, curled up in the basket. The balloon might well come down safely at the bottom of the hill. And perhaps my impulse to hang on was nothing more than a continuation of what I had been attempting moments before, simply a failure to adjust quickly.

Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Look, we don’t know each other and there’s no reason why you should trust me. Except that God has brought us together in this tragedy and we have to, you know, make whatever sense of it we can?”

Related Characters: Jed Parry (speaker), Joe Rose
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

I was afraid of my fear, because I did not yet know the cause. I was scared of what it would do to me and what it would make me do. And I could not stop looking at the door.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry
Related Symbols: Doors
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“Something’s happened,” he said.
He wasn’t going to continue, so I said, “What’s happened?”
He breathed in deeply through his nose. He still would not look at me. “You know what it is,” he said sulkily.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry (speaker)
Page Number: 66
Explanation and Analysis:

“The fact that you love me,” he continued, “and that I love you is not important. It’s just the means . . . [t]o bring you to God, through love. You’ll fight this like mad, because you’re a long way from your own feelings? But I know that the Christ is within you. At some level you know it too. That’s why you fight it so hard with your education and reason and logic and this detached way you have of talking, as if you’re not part of anything at all?”

Related Characters: Jed Parry (speaker), Joe Rose
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

Being hounded by Parry was aggravating an older dissatisfaction. It comes back to me from time to time, usually when I’m unhappy about something else, that all the ideas I deal in are other people’s.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

“The guy’s ridiculous,” Joe continues. “He’s fixated.” Clarissa begins to speak, but he waves her down. “I can’t get you to take this seriously. Your only concern is I’m not massaging your damned feet after your hard day.”

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Clarissa Mellon, Jed Parry
Page Number: 92-93
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

It wasn’t that she believed Parry, I told myself, it was that his letter was so steamily self-convinced, such an unfaked narrative of emotion—for he obviously had experienced the feelings he described—that it was bound to elicit certain appropriate automatic responses. Even a trashy movie can make you cry. There were deep emotional reactions that ducked the censure of the higher reasoning processes and forced us to enact, however vestigially, our roles: I, the indignant secret lover revealed; Clarissa, the woman cruelly betrayed. But when I tried to say something like this, she looked at me and shook her head slightly from side to side in wonderment at my stupidity.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Clarissa Mellon, Jed Parry
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

This woman was convinced that all of London society was talking of her affair with the king and that he was deeply perturbed. On one visit, when she could not find a hotel room, she felt the king had used his influence to prevent her from staying in London. The one thing she knew for certain was that the king loved her . . . . He used the curtains in the windows of Buckingham Palace to communicate with her. She lived her life in the prison gloom of this delusion. Her forlorn and embittered love was identified as a syndrome by the French psychiatrist who treated her, and who gave his name to her morbid passion. De Clerambault.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry
Related Symbols: Curtains
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“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.”

Related Characters: Jed Parry (speaker), Joe Rose
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

There were very few biblical references in Parry’s correspondence. His religion was dreamily vague on the specifics of doctrine, and he gave no impression of being attached to any particular church. His belief was a self-made affair, generally aligned to the culture of personal growth and fulfillment. There was a lot of talk of destiny, of his “path” and how he would not be deterred from following it, and of fate—his and mine entwined. Often, God was a term interchangeable with self. God’s love for mankind shaded into Parry’s love for me. God was undeniably “within” rather than in his heaven, and believing in him was therefore a license to respond to the calls of feeling or intuition.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry
Page Number: 163-164
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

The tall man, ready to cast his spell, pointed his wand at Colin Tapp.
And Tapp himself was suddenly ahead of us all by a second. His face showed us what we didn’t understand about the spell. His puzzlement, congealed in terror, could not find a word to tell us, because there was no time. The silenced bullet struck through his white shirt at his shoulder and lifted him from his chair and smacked him against the wall. The high-velocity impact forced a fine spray, a blood mist, across our tablecloth, our desserts, our hands, our sight. My first impulse was simple and self-protective: I did not believe what I was seeing.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Clarissa Mellon, Jed Parry, Jocelyn Kale, Colin Tapp
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

I felt a familiar disappointment. No one could agree on anything. We lived in a mist of half-shared, unreliable perception, and our sense data came warped by a prism of desire and belief, which tilted our memories too. We saw and remembered in our own favor, and we persuaded ourselves along the way. Pitiless objectivity, especially about ourselves, was always a doomed social strategy. We’re descended from the indignant, passionate tellers of half-truths, who, in order to convince others, simultaneously convinced themselves.

Related Characters: Joe Rose (speaker), Jed Parry, Detective Constable Wallace
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

“But what I was also trying to say last night was this: your being right is not a simple matter.”

Related Characters: Clarissa Mellon (speaker), Joe Rose, Jed Parry
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Enduring Love LitChart as a printable PDF.
Enduring Love PDF

Jed Parry Character Timeline in Enduring Love

The timeline below shows where the character Jed Parry appears in Enduring Love. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Importance of Loyalty Theme Icon
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...arrives at the center of the field, he is met by the remaining men: Jed Parry and two farm laborers, Joseph Lacey and Toby Greene. The four men join John Logan... (full context)
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...in the makeshift semicircle is James Gadd, and immediately next to him—across from Joe—is Jed Parry. (full context)
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...Harry Gadd from the basket, James Gadd is trying to climb over them, and Jed Parry and John Logan are shouting their own suggestions. As the great gust of wind arrives,... (full context)
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...aside, the balloon begins to rise into the air, taking the five remaining men—Joe, Jed Parry, Joseph Lacey, Toby Greene, and John Logan—with it. Joe recounts the infinitesimally brief moment of... (full context)
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...lets go of his rope and falls to the ground, as, around him, do Jed Parry, Joseph Lacey, and Toby Greene. Only John Logan continues to hang on, and with only... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...the field. Joseph Lacey is helping his friend, Toby Greene, who “cannot stand,” while Jed Parry is next to Joe, and James Gadd is a few steps away, shouting about his... (full context)
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As Joe looks at Logan’s body, he is joined by Jed Parry, who has come down the hill behind him. Parry urges Joe not to touch Logan’s... (full context)
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When Parry asks Joe if he is all right, Joe responds by telling him, “There’s nothing we... (full context)
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The two men have a mild (but, on Parry’s part, increasingly fervent) argument about prayer. Parry has lowered himself to his knees and is... (full context)
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Though Joe shrugs and declines again, Parry is increasingly insistent, referring to himself as “just the messenger” and to prayer as “a... (full context)
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Parry attempts “a radical change in tone,” asking Joe “sharply” what is preventing him from participating... (full context)
Chapter 3
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When Joe comes to the story of Jed Parry and his insatiable desire for prayer, he tells it “as comedy and [makes] Clarissa laugh.”... (full context)
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...by a phone call in the middle of the night. The call is from Jed Parry, who, bizarrely, confesses to Joe that he “understands” what Joe is feeling, that he “feels... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...Joe feels a sense of “unease” that he can’t quite define. He doesn’t think about Parry’s late-night phone call; rather, he manages to merge the call “with all the trouble of... (full context)
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...color,” not yet realizing that what he has seen matches the shoes worn by Jed Parry during the ballooning accident. Instead, he begins to “fret,” and is struck by a sense... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...the midst of his divorce—he decides to wait until her return to tell her about Parry’s phone call and the fact that Parry may have followed him to the library. (full context)
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...watches the evening news and considers the state of his own affairs. He worries that Parry has been following him and that Parry knows his home address, but he understands, as... (full context)
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...behavior, and Joe is so happy to see Clarissa that he declines again to mention Parry’s phone call or behavior. As the two of them make love, Joe surrenders to his... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Joe understands that now is the time to tell Clarissa the truth about Jed Parry’s phone call, “before her kindness and our love got the better of me.” Though Clarissa... (full context)
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...the situation further. As Clarissa is walking out the door, Joe’s closing words—a suggestion that Parry might very well be a “vengeful fanatic”—are interrupted by the telephone ringing. Clarissa goes on... (full context)
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Parry is calling, he reveals, because Joe called him the previous evening, using “last number recall.”... (full context)
Chapter 7
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On the street, Joe sees Parry lingering under a tree a hundred yards away. Parry looks “abject” and refuses to meet... (full context)
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“Something’s happened,” Parry tells Joe a few moments later, looking down at his fingernails rather than at Joe.... (full context)
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Continuing to speak against his better judgment, Joe asks whether Parry was following him the previous day. Parry looks away rather than answering, and Joe takes... (full context)
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...since the beginning of their encounter, Joe finds himself “calculating the physical danger” posed by Parry, who is “twenty years younger” and who possesses “a desperate cause,” which might lead him... (full context)
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Trying a different strategy, Joe asks Parry “exactly” what he wants, suggesting that perhaps Parry wants to have sex with him. When... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...rides in the back of the cab, Joe reflects on how quickly his feelings toward Parry have changed. The previous day, Parry represented “the unknown” and was a source of potential... (full context)
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Arriving at his destination, Joe purchases a book, browses briefly, then returns home. Parry is waiting for him, and Joe chides himself for believing that Parry would “vanish” simply... (full context)
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...harassment,” Joe is made to answer a series of bureaucratic questions about the specifics of Parry’s behavior. Though Joe tries to take comfort in “having [his] story assimilated into” a crime... (full context)
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Joe returns to his living room and looks out the window again. Though Parry is no longer speaking into a telephone, he is still lingering outside Joe’s building, and... (full context)
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...study, Joe tries to work while simultaneously getting up at regular intervals to check on Parry. By five o’clock in the afternoon, Parry is gone, and Joe checks the answering machine... (full context)
Chapter 9
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With no transition or pause, Joe finishes his rant about Jed Parry and begins to tell Clarissa about a conversation he has had with a particle physicist... (full context)
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...saying and realizes that he is claiming to have received dozens of phone messages from Parry. Alarmed, Clarissa insists that the machine’s indicator “said zero,” and Joe responds that he erased... (full context)
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...confesses that he feels “agitated,” she asks him again if he’s “making too much” of Parry and suggests asking Parry in for “a cup of tea.” Arguing that Parry is merely... (full context)
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...he “can’t get [Clarissa] to take this seriously.” Clarissa responds that Joe’s own obsession with Parry suggests that Joe has, in a sense, “invented him.” “You ought to be asking yourself... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...greets him upon his leaving the apartment seems to intensify as he walks past Jed Parry. As he walks, leaving Parry far behind in his hurry, he remembers a “quarter-memory”—a faint... (full context)
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...of his own “half-million-pound apartment.” Joe briefly considers the word “curtain” again before sensing Jed Parry coming up behind him. (full context)
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Parry is sobbing, and he accuses Joe of “playing games” and “pretending” not to return his... (full context)
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Losing Parry’s words in the blare of a passing siren, Joe realizes that he feels toward Parry... (full context)
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Allowing his thoughts to continue wandering, Joe considers the word “signals,” which Parry has twice accused him of “sending” during their confrontation. The word “signals” again brings to... (full context)
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...because he senses that he needs to set right his relationship with Clarissa, Joe loses Parry in the traffic and begins to jog home. (full context)
Chapter 11
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In a letter to Joe, Jed Parry states that “happiness” is running through him “like an electric current” due to the “unspoken... (full context)
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Continuing on in these delusions, Parry apologizes to Joe for not initially feeling the love that Joe clearly felt “from the... (full context)
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Parry tells Joe that he already knows quite a bit about Joe’s life, and he begins... (full context)
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Parry explains that loving Joe has made him alert to the natural world as never before:... (full context)
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Relating his career history, Parry tells Joe that he used to teach English as a foreign language but now does... (full context)
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Continuing on, Parry offers to speak to Clarissa on Joe’s behalf. He confesses that he feels Joe’s “presence”... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Two days after the arrival of Parry’s letter, Joe drives to Oxford to visit John Logan’s widow, Jean Logan. In his thoughts... (full context)
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As Joe drives, he glances occasionally in the rear-view mirror, watching for Parry, who he assumes may be following him. He thinks, too, about the “large Victorian house”... (full context)
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...have even “made love, briefly,” they remain emotionally distant from one another. Joe has read Parry’s letter to Clarissa, and while she has acknowledged that Joe is “right to feel harassed,”... (full context)
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...and Clarissa have become “unconvincing somehow.” Clarissa, Joe speculates, has somehow persuaded herself that the Parry situation is Joe’s fault, and she simultaneously “hate[s] to see [Joe] back with that old... (full context)
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...the house, Joe allows himself to entertain other “bad thoughts,” wondering whether Clarissa is using Parry “as a front” to mask some infidelity of her own. Even as he reflects on... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...of the story of King George and his insane devotee, and he realizes that Jed Parry must be suffering from the same condition, which causes the sufferer to feel delusions of... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...field, Joe recalls the happiness that he and Clarissa shared before the intrusion of Jed Parry into their lives. He wants to “imagine a route back into that innocence,” but he... (full context)
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...the day of the accident, including the spots where John Logan fell and where Jed Parry asked Joe to pray. Joe feels, strangely, as if he has never really left the... (full context)
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...to the research he will do about de Clerambault’s syndrome now that he has assigned Parry that diagnosis. He begins to think of de Clerambault’s as a “dark, distorting mirror” that... (full context)
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Two hours later, Joe has completed his return trip to London and immediately finds Parry waiting for him outside his apartment building. Parry is staring at Joe and is holding... (full context)
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Joe finally enters the apartment building and realizes that Parry has “frightened” him. He reflects on Parry’s threat that Parry can “hire” people to do... (full context)
Chapter 16
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The letter that Parry has pressed into Joe’s hands begins with Parry recalling the student who brought him all... (full context)
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As an example of what he finds so offensive in Joe’s work, Parry mentions a specific article about “the latest technological aids to biblical scholarship,” complaining that no... (full context)
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Continuing on, Parry reveals that, after finishing Joe’s work, he took a taxi to Joe’s apartment, where Joe... (full context)
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Concerned that Joe will think him uneducated, Parry insists that he doesn’t “hate” science at all. Rather, he believes that the study of... (full context)
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Parry tells Joe that his love for Joe is “hard and fierce” and that he “won’t... (full context)
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Parry confesses that he wanted to “hurt” Joe upon going to his apartment building in the... (full context)
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Closing his letter, Parry warns Joe that his life is about to be “upended” and that Joe may soon... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Jed Parry, Joe reveals, has been sending “three or four letters a week,” all of which are... (full context)
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Joe narrates that he has learned how to “scan” Parry’s letters looking for some overt threat that he can take to the police. Parry, however,... (full context)
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In addition to writing, Parry has continued to lurk outside of Joe’s apartment building, yet he has ceased to talk... (full context)
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Joe confesses to the reader that Parry has made him increasingly paranoid. He takes extra care “locking up the flat at night,”... (full context)
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...but she is certain that she didn’t see a woman. Joe remembers briefly considering asking Parry to recall the scene, thinking that perhaps he can use the conversation to goad Parry... (full context)
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...about their relationship he has yet to answer. Clarissa accuses Joe, accurately, of thinking about Parry even in this moment, and when Joe insists once more that Parry is a “real... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...continues to feel, too, that Clarissa has “done neither the research nor the thinking” about Parry’s condition and is thus underestimating it. Parry’s love, Joe believes, “could not stand still”; it... (full context)
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...her present: an early edition of John Keats’s poems. While there, he gathers all of Parry’s letters and reads them again, looking for “significant passages.” Joe is “attempting to compile a... (full context)
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Joe notices, reading further, that Parry’s letters contain very few religious references; instead, “his religion [is] dreamily vague on the specifics... (full context)
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Joe leaves his apartment carrying his notes about Parry’s letters. Parry is not outside waiting for him, and the change in Parry’s routine makes... (full context)
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...“slightly clever or very stupid.” Duty Inspector Linley asks Joe a series of questions about Parry’s behavior, and, once again, Joe finds it difficult to describe Parry’s obsession in a way... (full context)
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Frustrated, and “beginning to detest Linley,” Joe states that he has “good reasons to believe [Parry] will turn nasty” and that he has come “to the police for help.” Duty Inspector... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...leaps forward to intervene. How, Joe wonders, had he failed, until that moment, “to recognize Parry?” (full context)
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...attacked them by mistake. Yet Joe doesn’t feel even a “flicker of vindication” now that Parry has indeed revealed himself to be violent. Rather, he sits in shock like everyone else... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...that Colin Tapp is “an undersecretary at the Department of Trade and Industry” and that Parry, who has not yet been identified, is being credited with saving Tapp’s life. (full context)
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...them what [he] saw” rather than “go[ing] on about [his] usual stuff,” his concerns about Parry. Because Joe knows that Clarissa didn’t recognize Parry in the restaurant, he determines not to... (full context)
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...has taken his seat, confessing that the bullet was “meant for [him]” and that Jed Parry is responsible for the shooting. Looking at Joe without “any great surprise,” Detective Constable Wallace... (full context)
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...to clarify seemingly unimportant details. The two men quibble over when Joe first recognized Jed Parry, and Wallace eventually asks Joe to remain at the police station for a while so... (full context)
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...of questions instead. Rather than answering, Joe continues to insist that the police investigate Jed Parry, who, Joe maintains, is “not going to stop at one attempt” on Joe’s life. Irrelevantly,... (full context)
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...of the two gunmen, and whether either wore a ring. Though Wallace assures Joe that “Parry isn’t behind this,” he suggests that Joe might nevertheless need “help” and offers him forty... (full context)
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...home in darkness, the day having passed at the police station, and finds that Jed Parry is nowhere to be seen. Clarissa has left a note saying that she has gone... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...a witness.” As they begin to drive back to London, Joe’s phone rings, and Jed Parry is, once again, on the other line. Parry is in Joe’s apartment, he reveals, and,... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Jed Parry puts Clarissa on the phone, and she tells Joe that he must “come straight back”... (full context)
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...a second skylight gives him a view of Clarissa sitting on a couch, with Jed Parry sitting “directly in front of her on a wooden kitchen chair.” Parry’s back is to... (full context)
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Parry has come to the window and is partly concealed by the curtains, and Joe realizes... (full context)
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Parry, who is clearly nervous and distraught, warns Joe not to come any closer. Joe sees... (full context)
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When Clarissa assures Parry that Joe never meant to do him any harm, Parry grows increasingly nervous and states... (full context)
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...have reunited at that very moment, even as the police and ambulances came to take Parry away. Yet such behavior, Joe concludes, would have been “inhuman.” He and Clarissa had witnessed... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...to a letter that Clarissa has written to Joe sometime after Joe’s shooting of Jed Parry. Clarissa opens by apologizing for the “row” that she and Joe had the previous evening,... (full context)
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...She criticizes Joe for being so “intense and strange” and for lying to her about Parry’s initial phone call. She brings up Joe’s betrayal—his “ransacking” of her desk—and suggests that Joe’s... (full context)
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...to his fear that he was the first rescuer to let go of his rope. “Parry,” she argues, presented Joe “an escape from [his] guilt.” Furthermore, Clarissa states, she understands why... (full context)
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Clarissa’s most important point, which she soon comes to, is that Parry’s ultimate violence was never “inevitable”; rather, it was spurred on by Joe’s reactions. Clarissa thanks... (full context)