Critical Essays On Atonement

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That is, present the story from every single angle, and not just the writer's point of view.

In achieving this, Briony hopes to atone for her misconception of events as a young girl. When she mistakenly observes Robbie and Cecilia making love in the library? Or when she officially accuses Robbie of the assault to authorities? What is certain, however, is that somewhere during Part One of the novel, Briony ceases to exist as a protected child in this world and enters the exposed world of adulthood.

Notice how so much of the action takes place in a state where some senses are obstructed or absent while others are available.

Briony can "see" the incident between Cecilia and Robbie at the fountain, but she can't hear it.

Should more not have been done in the investigation? Does Briony finally achieve her atonement by writing her story and keeping her lovers and allowing their love to survive?

The second layer to the guilt theme has to do with the history of literature.

It leaves the question very open: Whose story is this? " All authors are subject to their own interpretation of events and it is this in-empirical science that is literature that can cause so much power over other human beings. Briony doesn't understand the letter Robbie has sent Cecilia and sees it as a threat.

Robbie places the wrong letter in the envelope triggering, and eventually indicting him for rape.

Objects in this section are metaphors that serve as agents to this theme--windows, doorways, light, darkness, etc.

Even the narration of the novel plays on this idea.


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