Birmingham, Uk



McEwan’s most notable novel ‘Atonement’ journeys the reader through a blossoming and rather brusque romance between an aristocratic Cecilia Tallis and the labouring Robbie Turner. The novel is split into four parts which develop the complex character narrative structure through the use of multiple perspectives and focalisation. In Part 1 as readers, we gain a shrewd insight into the lives of the seemingly mundane Tallis family and how their actions on a hot summer’s day impact the rest of their lives. Essentially, this novel is a bildungsroman, which we discover at the end to have been ‘written’ by Briony Tallis. The outset portrays a capricious young Briony, who whilst exceptionally eloquent and precocious, longs to be actively included within a fictitious, beguiling, esoteric adult world she has conjured. Briony’s navigation of the world after committing her ‘crime’ exemplifies the folly of order in a world overcome with disarray and disillusionment- but as readers, McEwan leaves it up to us in considering whether her desire of sequential arrangement is to be regarded a crime so depraved that she must ‘atone’ her whole life for it.

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