In Ian McEwan’s award winning novel Atonement young Briony Tallis must try and make amends for her wrongdoings toward her older sister Cecelia and her love interest, Robbie. At the end of the novel, the short, twenty-page coda entitled “London, 1999” proves surprisingly necessary for the final realizations of the novel to fully occur. Though … Read moreDecoding the Coda in Atonement
Ian McEwan’s Atonement draws inspiration from and alludes to a vast number of 20th century modernist authors and works, both stylistically and thematically. For a novel to be considered a successful culmination to the reading of a large body of works, however, it must not be content with merely echoing the themes, styles, and forms … Read moreWoolf and McEwan: How the Modern Became Postmodern
Throughout crime fiction such as ‘Atonement’ and ‘Brighton Rock’, unwitting characters fall to the machinations that antagonists – even immature antagonists – set for them. While some might argue that the characters in Graham Greene’s novel ‘Brighton Rock’ and Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ are responsible for their own fate and partake in criminality themselves, Rose, for … Read more‘In Crime Writing There Are Always Victims”: Pinkie versus Rosie, and Briony versus Robbie
Woven throughout Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ are intertextual references, used to not only enrich the reader’s experience but to present the love affair between Robbie and Cecilia as indeed, all too familiar, classic and timeless in its predictability. McEwan utilises characters and themes from texts such ‘Twelfth Night’ (William Shakespeare) and ‘Clarissa’ (Samuel Richardson) to draw … Read moreThe Trials of Robbie and Cecilia: Intertextuality in ‘Atonement,’ from Shakespeare to Richardson
Though Robbie Turner knows he is innocent of his purported crime, this knowledge hardly relieves his inner turmoil. Much of his time spent fighting in the war is also spent fighting with himself; he is unable to escape the constant fantasies of his potential life at home and the “what ifs” of his relationship with … Read moreRobbie’s Resentment
Truth is a universal theme that has been the fascination of people since the dawn of time. It is the underlying, almost primal reason that urges mankind to progress; a noble quest for knowledge, and an uneasiness that the essence of truth will always linger at our fingertips, nudged just beyond our grasp. Postmodern novelists, … Read moreThe Unattainability of Truth
Compare and contrast the representation of jealousy and the destructive nature of love in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, and Ian McEwen’s ‘Atonement’. When comparing themes of jealousy and the destructive nature of love within literature, the canonical works of Shakespeare’s Othello, Miller’s The Crucible, and McEwen’s Atonement must be considered. The texts offer … Read moreJealousy and the destructive nature of love in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’, Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, and Ian McEwen’s ‘Atonement’.
What does atonement mean to you? Each individual person will have to make up for something they have done at some point in their lifetime. Are you seeking atonement to be free from the burden of your sin in your everyday life? Maybe, you are seeking atonement to ensure your freedom in the afterlife. In … Read more‘Saint Maybe’ and ‘Atonement’: Childhood, Compensation, and Characters’ Fates
In Atonement, McEwan reveals in the final section, ‘London, 1999,’ that the previous narrative had been a novel written by the character Briony, creating a metafictional lens and calling into question all the previous events the reader had assumed were objectively true. McEwan first signals this shift through a move to Briony’s first-person perspective as … Read moreArt and Empathy: An Analysis of Saturday and Atonement
Theater and acting fundamentally allow people to become something else- to transcend the bounds of their identities and present, or be presented with, a different reality. The process of writing, a theme particularly prominent in ‘Atonement’, is arguably comparable to acting- they both permit a person to gain a new control of themselves and their … Read moreHow do McEwan and Hartley use acting or theatre in ‘Atonement’ and ‘The Go-Between’?