Atonement 6

Topics: Ian McEwan, Narrator, Novel Pages: 3 (1097 words) Published: November 13, 2010
With close reference to your chosen extract, how does McEwan use language and narrative method to create a sense of impending doom?

Ian McEwan wrote this novel at a time of modernism. It was a time to experiment how the novels were written. In Atonement, Briony is a character trying to reach her “highest point of fulfilment” as a writer. Quite strange she was only a young girl who was entering adolescence, while trying to balance this will over control and a life full of secrets. These characteristics will have a major impact on impending doom and will finish with her making a sin.

One way in which McEwan uses language and narrative method to create a sense of impending doom with close reference to my chosen extract is by using long sentences to confuse readers immediately followed by short ones to clarify the meanings of them. “But hidden drawers, locable diaries and cryptographic systems could not conceal from Briony the simple truth: she had no secrets.” This clearly shows that McEwan has used a gothic style to create some sort of confusion and it could be argued, that it will develop. Furthermore in the novel as we will be seeing from a side that things for this family will be going wrong. In addition, a colon is used which indicates that we are going to be told something, which creates an even stronger sense of impending doom in the novel. This will affect the way Briony acts and lies to everyone what she has seen by keeping it as a secret to herself and not understanding what a huge mistake she is making.

Another way McEwan uses language and narrative method to create a sense of impending doom is by using prolepsis. “Briony was hardly to know it then, but this was the project’s highest point of fulfilment”. This states that nothing will be better as it is at the moment. Prolepsis creates a sense of impending doom and shows that things will start to go wrong. Later on we clearly see that they do as the vase gets broken, which causes a conflict...
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