What sort of social and cultural setting does the Tallis house create for the novel?
James left a quite full record of the development of his story, which described modern divorce and adultery from the point of view of a young girl. First there was a plan for a 10,word story, which, in prospect, set delightful technical problems: Not quite how McEwan would put it, perhaps, but still the substance of his method, especially if one adds a keen technical interest in another Jamesian obsession, the point of view.
His central character is a year-old girl called Briony, already a maker of stories and plays, and so already a writer of fictions that have only their own kind of truth and are dependent on fantasies which readers are invited to share, with whatever measure of scepticism or credulity they can muster.
Briony is the daughter of an important civil servant who has a grand though ugly country house. The year is and, since a war is threatening, he has exhausting responsibilities in Whitehall.
Along with other more genial preoccupations, his London duties keep him off the scene, even on the special occasion during which the story begins. However, the monstrous patterns of fate begin to involve him now, at the fountain, before he can even start a medical career. The episode at the fountain changes his plan, as it changes everything.
There is, however, a finely written scene in which the composer, hiking in the Lakes, declines to help a woman walker when she is violently assaulted; this nasty bit of reality is interfering with the musical thought he had come to work out, and he decides that the music comes first, as his story might to a novelist.
Cecilia has been half-playfully disputing with Robbie the right to fill a valuable vase with water from the fountain. He wants to do it for her. Their little struggle proves more serious than it should have been; as they wrestle for the vase two triangular pieces break off its lip and fall into the fountain.
Triangles, by the way, form a minor leitmotif for readers to puzzle over. Robbie prepares to plunge in and recover the pieces; but Cecilia gets her clothes off and plunges first. A numerous company is preparing for dinner when Briony, happening to go into the library, finds Robbie and Cecilia violently engaged in the act of sex.
Robbie had written Cecilia a harmless letter, but accidentally sent in its place a coarse little meditation on his lust for her, and specifically, the message insists, for her cunt. The letter had been delivered to Cecilia by the hand of Briony, who, being a writer, naturally had a look at it.
It was this letter that turned Cecilia on and, when circulated, turned everybody else off. Meanwhile some young cousins, derelict because of a divorce, were staying with the family, and at the awful dinner that evening the unhappy nine-year-old twin boy cousins, one with a triangular piece missing from his ear, ran away.
During the search for them their sister, Lola, a bit older than Briony, is sexually assaulted, and despite the darkness Briony thinks she is able to identify the assailant as the lustful Robbie. He is released to the Army, and, in a deeply researched and imagined episode, takes part in the Dunkirk evacuation.
A point of interest here is that Robbie and his associates, heading for the coast with a demoralised remnant of the BEF, are surprised to see brisk, disciplined Guards regiments going in the opposite direction, presumably to serve as a doomed rearguard.
Here as elsewhere we are left to wonder who picked up this point and put it into the story.
Did it, in fact, happen? Who will vouch for its truth? Has the author a patriotic weakness for the Guards? We merely have to trust somebody to be telling something like the truth. Who is saying she is terrified? We can only suppose that Briony, writing at the very end of the complex affair, is imagining what she would have made of the scene at At this moment Cecilia is overwhelmed by the beauty of a face she had taken for granted all her life.
Can she also have had terrified eyes? Or could Briony have taken for terror an expression that meant something quite different? Let us see what I, and later what they, can make of this treatment.What is the setting of the book Atonement, by Ian McEwan?
Can somebody please tell how the There are several settings that serve to tell the story of the Ian MeEwan novel Atonement. The development of Briony Tallis is a compelling aspect of Ian McEwan's Atonement.
While her character remains consistent, her analysis eventually matures. Read moreReviews: K. Ian McEwan's symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose/5(K).
Atonement does not feel, at first, like a book by McEwan. The opening is almost perversely ungripping.
Instead of the expected sharpness of focus, the first 70 or so pages are a lengthy summary of shifting impressions. Atonement is a British metafiction novel written by Ian McEwan concerning the understanding of and responding to the need for personal atonement.
Set in three time periods, England, Second World War England and France, and present-day England, it covers an upper-class girl's half-innocent mistake that ruins lives, her adulthood in the shadow of that mistake, and a reflection on the nature of . Ian McEwan's symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to 4/4.