On Chesil Beach is not a common love story with bad end, but an ode to sorrow and to the pain of lost hopes. Edward and Florence are young and too emotional; they don’t know what marriage is and how man and woman should treat each other being together. The lack of experience leads to conflict and, in the end, they don’t have another way out as to separate. But the conflict they had is not a personal one, it is a deep social conflict between different epochs. Florence represents the time which passes with its strict moral values and rules, when sex was not a pleasure but an obligation between wife and husband, and Edward is a representation of the period of approaching sexual revolution with its passion and openness to sexual relationship.
The events of only one night are depicted in the story with numerous reminiscences to past and future for better understanding the foreshadowing and consequences of the conflict. The language is clear and easy for understanding, metaphors are widely used to make the narration richer and in order to express feeling of antagonists more vividly.
The plot is concentrated only on Florence-Edward relationship, so we cant make up the whole picture of the society, but still it is clear that sexual education leaved better to be desired and the attitude to youth was full of stupid prejudices. The author depicts such episodes using irony in order to show how ridiculous the society looked like (the episode with the book for brides).
The story leaves much room for thinking over who was to blame: Florence or Edward, and how their lives would be if they didn’t separate that night on Chesil beach. The story is interesting, the plot is fascinating and love here is depicted from both moral and fleshy aspects. Which one is more important remains a mystery.