Atonement Literary Elements

Topics: Atonement, Keira Knightley, Joe Wright Pages: 4 (1384 words) Published: May 3, 2008
The once best-selling book the atonement by Ian McEwan is now a motion picture. This film stars A list actors, including Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy . The brilliant Director Joe Wright combined with screenwriter Christopher Hampton turns the bestseller into the award winning picture. Though adapted for the big screen, the film still contains important literary elements such as: theme, symbolism, conflicts, and setting. One major theme of the movie is thing aren’t always as they appear . The major character Briony in many instances misinterprets what she has witnessed and these misunderstanding ruin the life of the people she cares the most about. The first misunderstanding took place in her back yard where she finds her elder her sister played by Kiera Knightley undressing and jumping into a fountain .in front of her garden taker Robbie played by James McAvoy. Briony’s wild imagination allows her to believe Robbie and Cecilia were having a lover’s quarrel. When actually, Robby just broke the most expensive piece of china they owed and Cecilia jumped in to the fountain to retrieve the broken piece. This is exacerbated when Briony later intercepts an erotic letter written by Robbie, intended for Cecilia’s eyes only. This letter and the fact that she caught Robby and her sister having sexual relations in the library, makes Robbie appear to be “sex maniac”. So later on when her cousin Lola Quincy was raped she automatically assumes it to be the sex crazed gardener.

This leads to the other major theme of discrimination between social classes. Though Robbie has been exceptionally well-treated and well educated, neither he nor the family members could ever completely forget that he is the” gardener", and that all he ever got was given as an enormous special favour and not by birth right. This is due to the fact that he was friends with the Tallis’ children. He would never be good enough for Cecilia. Cecilia's natural destiny of marrying and having...

Cited: Lane, Anthony. "CONFLICTING STORIES." New Yorker 83.39 (10 Dec. 2007): 116-117. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO.]WCC Library, Valhalla, NY. 17 Apr. 2008 .
Scott, A.O. "Lies, Guilt, Stiff Upper Lips.(Movies, Performing Arts/Weekend Desk)(MOVIE REVIEW 'ATONEMENT ')." The New York Times 157.54151 (Dec 7, 2007): E1(L). Custom Newspapers. Gale. Westchester Community College. 21 Apr. 2008
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