Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan Free Download eBook .pdf Format

On Chesil Beach is a 2007 novel by the Booker Prize-winning British writer Ian McEwan. The novel was selected for the 2007 Booker Prize shortlist.

The Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic Jonathan Yardley placed On Chesil Beach on his top ten for 2007, praising McEwan's writing and saying that "even when he's in a minor mode, as he is here, he is nothing short of amazing".

Plot summary
In July 1962, Edward Mayhew and Florence Ponting, have just been married and are spending their honeymoon in a small hotel on the Dorset seashore, at Chesil Beach. The couple are very much in love despite being from drastically different backgrounds, with Mayhew the son of a schoolmaster and Ponting the musically gifted daughter of a wealthy industrialist and an Oxford philosophy lecturer.

During the course of an evening, both reflect upon their upbringing and the prospect of their futures. Edward is sexually motivated and though intelligent has a taste for rash behaviour, while Florence, bound by the social code of another era, and as a child molested by her own father, is terrified of sexual intimacy: eventually this leads to an experience that will change their relationship irrevocably.

The novel focuses upon the couple's different personalities and attitudes and the development of their love in the dawning of a sexual awakening in 1960s Britain. 1962 was the year when the contraceptive pill became available in the United Kingdom. Before this, sex before marriage ran the risk of unwanted pregnancy and possibly unwanted marriage. Edward and Florence represent the last generation who would never have sex before marriage; in their case with disastrous results.

Plot synopsis
On Chesil Beach is organized into five parts. These parts alternate between the immediate, present chain of events that take place in the bedroom on the honeymoon, and a series of flashbacks to Edward and Florence’s separate childhoods. The book also describes the relationships between the couple and their respective families.

Part One
Part One opens in the dining area of the honeymoon suite on England's majestic Chesil Beach. This section focuses on the initial awkwardness and misrepresentation of certain “signals” between the newlyweds. As Florence encounters a conflict between being repulsed by the idea of sex and afraid of being unable to satisfy Edward’s sexual needs, their relationship is secretly strained over the unknown conflict.

Part Two
The first flashback takes the reader to the childhoods of both Edward and Florence and, perhaps more importantly, the social setting, especially in regards to sex and the discussion of sex in the 1950s. During this time period sexual discussion is almost unheard of. McEwan also discusses both lovers’ families and childhoods. This section provides an important insight into the lives of both lovers to further the characterization of Edward and Florence. From this point, the reader should begin to connect with each character and develop a better understanding of the situation’s increasing complexity and that On Chesil Beach is more than a book about an awkward sexual experience.

Part Three
This section shifts back to the current situation in the honeymoon suite. After some surprising progress towards a normal sexual excursion, the situation seems to have improved and Florence’s fears are beginning to dissolve. McEwan effectively describes the thoughts and concerns of both characters by shifting the point of view in this section. After a fury of chaotic and frightening series of events, Florence runs out of the suite and onto Chesil Beach, Edward is left standing in the honeymoon suite, and the story shifts back in time.

Part Four
Part four is largely about the relationship between Edward and Florence and each involved with each others’ families. On the topic of Edward and Florence’s sexual relationship, McEwan illustrates that Florence is timid and conservative in her approach and that Edward is cautious as a result. The chapter describes the goals and dreams of the two lovers and describes the complexity of their thoughts, especially sexually. It is revealed that these recollections of the past are being made by Edward as he is trying to remember the good times with Florence to suppress his rising anger at the current situation, for Edward is preparing to go and meet with Florence on the beach.

Part Five
This part is conclusion of the story and a brief generalization of the life that Edward would live after the climactic events. After developing an intricate and thought-invoking probe into each person’s thoughts on the beach, McEwan plays out the final pages. By this point in the novel, the mass amounts of information about each person’s life and their relationship found in parts two and four come into play and create the disbelief and sadness associated with the conclusion.

Character analysis
Florence is a violinist, and the leader of her own quartet. Over the course of the novel, we find out that Florence is a bit of a control freak and very uptight. This is illustrated through the way she runs her quartet. She is the person who the other members look to for guidance and decision making, and is disconcerted when the sole male-member tries to give input. She practices for many hours a day, which shows how dedicated she is to her career in music. While she is very intellectual, Florence seems to be floundering in the romance department. She is very awkward, especially in the opening scene of the novel. During the chapter, it is revealed that Florence had read an ‘instruction manual’ to help her understand the process of sexual intercourse. She is disgusted and intimidated by the thought of sex, due in part to her lack of education but mainly because of an alluded to incident of sexual abuse at the hands of her father during her childhood.

Edward is a simple country boy, but one who has a passion for history. He has earned a college degree, and is anxious to be married to Florence. In the matter of sexual desires and feelings, Edward is at the other end of the spectrum from Florence. He is excited for their wedding night and to consummate their union, but is afraid of messing up or "performing" badly. Edward also differs from Florence in that he has no reservations about their relationship. He is ready to dive in blind, but she is much more hesitant and reserved. A common theme associated with Edward is the emphasis of history. He compares everything that happens to him to a historical event, and it seems as though he is living in the present, looking through the lens of the past. His formal training in the subject has aided him and hindered him at the same time. He seems to be unable to live solely in the moment, and it ultimately leads to disaster.

In a BBC Radio 4 interview, McEwan admitted to taking a few pebbles from Chesil Beach and keeping them on his desk while he wrote the novel. Protests by conservationists and a threat by Weymouth and Portland borough council to fine him £2,000 led the author to return the pebbles. "I was not aware of having committed a crime," he said. "Chesil Beach is beautiful and I'm delighted to return the shingle to it."

Film adaptation
McEwan has announced that he has written a screenplay for "On Chesil Beach" and that Sam Mendes will direct it. He hopes to start shooting the film towards the end of 2010. He has also stated that he hopes to have Carey Mulligan play the part of Florence.

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