Briony In Atonement

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A naïve point of view, an active imagination, and a detrimental misunderstanding all lead Briony Tallis to ruin the lives of herself, her sister, and Robbie Turner. In Atonement by Ian McEwan, when Briony is only a young girl, she horribly misjudges Robbie’s loving intentions, makes an uncalculated jump to conclusions, and wrongly accuses him of raping Cecilia. Despite only being a child when she commits this crime, the realization of what she does haunts her for many years. In Atonement by Ian McEwan, Briony has to live with the guilt of ruining the lives of those she cares about, proving how misguided accusations can have damaging consequences and that forgiveness is unobtainable. Though she is not fully aware of it when she is young, Briony’s crime changes the lives of herself and the people around her. As the supposed author of the story, she knows Robbie feels that “to be cleared would be a pure…show more content…
She comes to the realization that “a person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn, not easily mended” (McEwan Part 3). This proves how Briony is fully aware of the depths of her mistakes and the lives she ruins in her past. She sees now how she has broken the people she cares about the most, and she acknowledges the fact that their lives are so easily destroyed, and how difficult it is to seek redemption. Even over sixty years later she feels guilt and remorse over what she does as a child. She tries to give her dead loved ones, Robbie and Cecilia, a happy ending, writing them in a new story where she is able to “let [her] lovers live and to unite them at the end” (McEwan London 1999). However, she claims she is “not so self-serving as to let them forgive [her]” (McEwan London 1999). This shows that her past crime still haunts her and she does not feel worthy of their forgiveness. She is conscious of all the pain and destruction that she causes, and she knows that her crime is

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