Ian Mcewan Atonement

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Briony Tallis, at the young age of seven lived in a fantasy world of her own. With her father gone most of the time, her mother unavailable most days due to her manic migraines, her brother living away and her sister of studying, Briony is virtually an only child, left only with the company of her imagination. She was described as compulsively orderly. “One of those children possessed by the idea to have the world ‘just so’. Briony's craving to manipulate and control, and also her perception of how Robbie spoilt her play, leads her to committing her crime. Her overactive imagination causes her to misinterpret a scene between Robbie and Cecelia, and then later catches them in the library, where she incorrectly concludes that Robbie is attacking Cecelia, where Instead of facing reality, Briony creates her own imaginative world, where “there was nothing she could not describe”. Convinced she was ‘sharing the nights expanse with a maniac’ Briony takes her imaginative world one step to far, telling a lie that she will forever regret. Ruining the lives of both Robbie and Cecilia, Briony goes on to live a depressing life filled with regret. As we find out towards the end of the novel, Briony cannot forgive herself,

Robbie Turner found himself in the middle of Briony’s lie. After being sent to prison, then to fight in the war, “He'd had plenty of time alone, too much time, to consider” the “lasting damage” of Briony’s silly imaginative world. In passage 2, Robbie thinks about Briony, and the possible signs he may have missed, ‘He could remember no other unusual conversation with her, no strange behaviour’. After reflecting on Briony’s actions and the consequences of her fatal lie, Robbie concludes that ‘he could never forgive her, that was the lasting damage’.
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