Atonement Movie

Posted on: 12th May 2023


Choose a scene from "Atonmenet" the novel written by Ian McEwan's novel, that you can completely explore.

  • Why did the writer create that scene?
  • Show how he uses language. Be specific: How the character effects that scene? How/why?
  • Just give the page number: briefly (2-3 sentences) tell a short summary so the professor knows which scene we are talking about
  • What is the effect of this scene?
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Summary of the scene

The scene is on page four. The scene is where Briony gives her mother a copy of her play that she wrote and named it “The Trials of Arabella.” The mother and her sister Cecilia are impressed by the play though Cecilia seems to indicate that she likes the play scornfully. Then, their cousins arrive, and Briony assigns them the roles and directs them to rehearse before it is played for their brother the following day.

Reasons for creating the scene

The writer has created the scene for several reasons. One of the reasons for creating this particular scene is to introduce the different characters that will be taking part in the story. It is in this scene that Briony is introduced. Later, it is seen that she is the main character in the book. Also, an analysis of the story reveals that she is the author of the book and the whole narrative is told through her eyes. Her mother is also introduced in the seen when Briony, the 13-year-old gives her the play that she has written. Apart from the mother being introduced, Cecilia, Briony’s sister is also presented in the scene reading the play. The cousins also arrive at this particular instance, and as the young girl directs them to take roles and play the parts assigned, the audience of the story is introduced to all these characters. Another reason for creating this scene is to bring out the character of Briony. It is amazing how a young girl such as Briony can be able to write a play, give roles and even direct. Through this depiction, it is evident that the writer tries to reveal to the audience that she is an extraordinary child who has extended and brilliant imagination. Also, the scene acts as foreshadowing to the audience foreshadowing the mood of self-retribution evident in the story. Also, this scene foreshadows the theme in the book of lost innocence.

The use of language in the scene

McEwan has employed the use of structuralism and even poststructuralist language in the novel to influence the readership of the novel. The use of this kind of language has impacted the narrative making it fit even in the modern society. It is for this reason that the novel has remained an academic piece even in the twenty-first century without being rewritten. The language is simple and uses most words are from modern English.

How the character effects the scene

The different characters have varying effects on the scene. However, all the characters set up the plot and pace of the story. Through the character of Briony, the author manages to develop emotions among his audience. The mother is genuine and indicates that the play is good, this portrays the kind of parenting that is there in the setting of the novel and the period of its writing.

The effect of the scene

A major effect of this scene is preparing the audience for the entire story by revealing to them that the extraordinary bright young girl is the main character of the story. The scene also introduces the plot of the entire story through the play that has been written by the lead character Briony. The foreshadowing in the story is a summary of what the entire story entails. 

Jordan Barney

Jordan Barney

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