Atonement by Ian Mcewan Analysis

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How does Briony’s deceptive character and need for attention and control play a role in her maturity and influence on the lives of others? -That afternoon, without stirring from her daybed, Emily had guessed that Lola was undermining Briony’s play, a suspicion confirmed by the diagonally ripped poster on the easel. And just as she predicted, Briony had been outside somewhere, sulking and impossible to find. How like Hermione Lola was, to remain guiltless while others destroyed themselves at her prompting (McEwan 138).

Like Briony, Emily completely misinterprets a situation, and as always, views Briony as completely innocent. This is not unlikely, as the household revolved around Briony, and she could do little wrong. Emily, her mother, adored her innocence and wanted so badly to preserve it. Her tainted view of her own daughter goes to show how deceiving Briony’s character truly was. She appeared innocent to everyone, but in reality she was far from sweet and pure. Most of Emily’s assumptions are proven correct throughout the book, as she is unbelievably able to decipher the situations happening around her with her special sixth sense. She could usually sense her surroundings “without stirring from her daybed.” In this one case though, Emily is ironically wrong, because if anything, Briony, not Lola, should have reminded her of her attention-seeking sister, Hermione. Briony quit the play because she lost all control and couldn’t bare to see other people get the attention she had wanted. Lola, having received the main part in the play, annoyed Briony and gave her the feeling that she could not grasp enough of the control, and could no longer continue on in portraying her story through other people. She feared that they may skew her thoughts, thus straying from the order Briony had wanted. It was not Lola who ripped the poster either, and Briony was not sulking because of anything Lola or anyone had done to her. Briony was upset and ran off from the...
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