Briony's Atonement

Topics: Ian McEwan, Black-and-white films, Lie Pages: 2 (559 words) Published: January 3, 2011
Briony’s Atonement

In Atonement, written by Ian McEwan, a thirteen year-old pre-teenage girl Briony is quite different than other girls her age. She sees certain things and makes her own conclusions upon what she thinks happened. She likes her sister Cecilia’s lover Robbie, but finds out that he does not have the same feelings as she did. As her revenge she lies and states that he is the man who raped Lola and he is known as a sex maniac. That untruth had plenty repercussions for Briony. Briony causes a terrible tragedy of Robbie and Cecilia due to her assumptions, lies and selfishness.

Briony is somewhat the inquisitive type she likes writing plays and most of the time she obtains her scenes from looking out the windows eavesdropping on Cecilia and Robbie. One afternoon, Briony decided to pry into Cecilia and Robbie’s privacy and sees Cecilia” kicked off her sandals, unbuttoned her blouse and removes it, unfastened her skirt and stepped out of it…she emerged with a piece of pottery” (pages 28-29). Meanwhile, Briony who is looking from her window, “accepted that she did not understand and that she must simply watch”, because she clearly thought it was a “drowning scene followed by a rescue” (pages 36-37). That was the same incident but with two absolutely different indications. From Briony’s assumption she thinks she knows what is actually going on and uses the scene in a play whereas what she saw and interpreted were two distinctive happenings; one in fact happened and the other was to some extent Briony imagination. She made plenty assumptions, and they were not for the better.

Sadly, not only does Briony make assumptions, she has a bad case of lying. At the same time as the searching for the twins, who had run away, Lola was in the midst of being raped. Briony, who is upset over the fact that Robbie loves Cecilia and just found them having sex in the library, lies and says “I saw him” (page 169) meaning “you saw him with your own eyes” (page 169)....
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