May 26, 2011

Atonement by Ian McEwan

I watched the movie when it came out a few years ago, and wasn’t too impressed. But, to be honest, I barely watched it, being a little distracted….anyways 🙂 After two fabulous presentations, my interest was piqued. I wanted to know how McEwan had so masterfully created a character which the audience hated and loved at the same time.

I loved Briony. From the first moment, I identified with her. She isn’t the exact definition of a lost child, but she is wandering in the world, looking for her place. She is determined, already knowing exactly what part she wants to play in the world, esp in part one of the novel. To me, the most interesting relationship in this novel is that between the author (McEwan) and his created author (Briony). In the last few pages of the novel, when Briony reveals the truth behind the novel. What point was McEwan trying to make about authors? Are we all authors in our life, adjusting and editing what we see and want to remember?

That seems fairly obvious. Hmmm.

What about the relationship of Cecilia and Robbie? What does their death (as revealed at the end of the novel) say about the course of true love? Is true love means to an end? Relatively speaking, their lives ended when they were caught in the bright spotlight of Briony’s gaze. Their fates were set the moment Cecilia decided to wait for Robbie, alienating her family and disowning her younger sister. There was nothing more for her in the world beside Robbie.

And why nursing? What is McEwan trying to say? Is he giving Briony a profession that is identifiable with compassion and care, the two emotions that she does not show when she accuses her sister’s lover of her cousin’s rape? It feels like there is more hiding underneath the surface of this profession then the casual eye can see, including why Briony and her sister share the same profession. Or is that also a part of Briony’s invention.

More to come as I research on these questions. Didn’t get a lot answered here. = ]

Posted May 26, 2011 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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