Later that night, Briony sits at her old writing desk working on her next novel. Briony involves the cousins in the play and reluctantly casts Lola as Arabella.…. We are told that Robbie was in prison for three and a half years. She tells the police that she, Leon, Lola and Cecilia entered the Tallis home after the attack and Emily took Lola upstairs to clean her up and wait for a doctor to arrive. Unfortunately this cuts down on the time that he gets to see Cecilia. She then assumes that Robbie is blackmailing Cecilia. In the opening of the book, Cecilia shifts from one idea to another very quickly and seems to be considering many possibilities for a purpose in her life. However, on her way down she hears a noise in her father’s study and enters to find the origins of the sound. Check out misunderstanding/perception below: https://www.gradesaver.com/atonement/study-guide/themes. “the artful disorder she preferred, and instead swung round in the water into a wilful neatness” and “orderly pattern” – Cecilia longs for messy freedom, but order is imposed onto her. Also, the broken vase is part of the family heritage and foreshadows the dissolution of the family. The three cousins are on this open-ended trip because their parents have divorced. Cecilia worries that this has created a divide between them. Robbie tells Briony that if she is sincere in her search for atonement than she should go to her parents and tell them the truth of what happened that night when she accused him of raping Lola. In this chapter, there is a significant emphasis on Cecilia’s senses, specifically sound and smell. “clear and perfect lines had been defaced with the scribble of other minds” – Blames others for affecting her play. “death and marriage the main engines of housekeeping, the former being set aside exclusively for the morally dubious, the latter a reward withheld until the final page” – The outcome for Paul and Lola and Cecilia and Robbie, however in real life the moral justice is reserved and the conventions of a fairy-tale narrative are broken. Briony begins to scold the young cousins for hitting their sister. Robbie is imprisoned for 3 years, after which he agrees to be conscripted into the war so that he can get the rest of his sentence thrown away. There is a focus on how libertarian she may be outside the family home (for example, “smoking on the stairway… was all the revolt her education would allow”), but inside she falls into the expected behaviours and doesn’t question it (she lacks “the courage to confront him [her father]”). She ends it in the same way that she bid farewell to him at the Tallis’ house after he was arrested, with the words, “I’ll wait for you. The moment her cousins arrive, Briony begins to assign them roles in her play and direct them in how to perform. The broken “triangular pieces” of the vase are “writhing in the broken light” at the bottom on the fountain – the vase, a symbol of things traditional and wealth, is now broken. Contrasted to later in the novel, she’s described as a “mermaid”. The vase is a symbol of surviving war, the fact it’s now broken hints at the death of Robbie and Cecilia. Briony has some existential thoughts about her ability to control movements and other people’s minds. She asks Briony if it was given to her sealed but Briony ignores her questions. She explains that she never saw the man clearly as he covered her eyes during the assault. “Atonement” is a novel written by the British author Ian McEwan and published in 2001. Briony is struggling with the rehearsals for the Trials of Arabella, Jackson wet the bed during the night, Pierrot’s acting skills are appalling and Lola is patronising. However, others in the family see her efforts as more melodramatic than dramatic and her sister Cecilia’s praise for her writing is tinged with condescension. Having done her best to atone, Briony is tired and needs to sleep. An image of ethereal female beauty, but also a weak female figure. Robbie played in Malvolio in the Twelfth Night – this Shakespearian is tricked by a letter, misunderstands and is punished severely after declaring his inappropriate love. “if three years at Girton had not made her an impossible prospect, with her pretensions to solitude, smoking in the bedroom” – it’s not only difficult for women to get an education, but also undesirable. The vase is a symbol of surviving war, the fact it’s now broken hints at the death of Robbie and Cecilia. They go inside for a drink. Immediately, the notion of literary tradition is discussed, McEwan attaches fairytale and folk lore to childhood simplicity. They assume that she is the reason that they were sent to the Tallis house for the summer when in reality it is because their parents are divorcing. “the frail white nymph” – a portrayal through Robbie’s eyes, objectified. Emily’s concern of her daughter’s marriage prospects indicates it was a woman’s priority to find a suitable husband. Collectively, this destroys Briony’s vision of a spotlighted moment and perfect evening prepared for her brother’s return. - Atonement. He then decided to study for a masters degree in creative writing. Briony’s interpretation then shifts: Robbie “issuing a command” and Cecilia being “unable to resist him”. “He had precise ideas about where and when a woman ..... Emily retires to her bedroom due to her migraine, she talks about her family. Cecilia fixes the vase and hides it in the house. This awakening is also evident in the previous chapter, where is finally finds the perfect outfit: her “green backless dress” that makes her look like a “mermaid who rose to meet her in her own full-length mirror”. Then, notices Robbie and the fountain scene unravels. This is father supported by her immediate instinct to project a fairy tale narrative onto the scene, assuming “a proposal of marriage” where the “son of a humble cleaning lady” makes “leaps across boundaries” and has the “boldness of ambition to ask ..... Cecilia is confronted in the hallway by Briony who has evidently been crying and then rips her poster for the Trials of Arabella.
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