Social Class is a main factor which influences Briony's identity through the beginning of the novel and plays a role in her accusation against Robbie. The setting of this novel is located in 1935 in England and this was a time period where social class issues played a large role amongst individuals of that era. Social class issues were present as Robbie was of lower class than Briony and had received her father's help in order to complete his studies. Briony could be influenced by these issues as she grows up exposed to this influence of social structure.
During the beginning of the novel, Cecilia Tallis is shown to have a childhood relationship with Robbie Turner and also shown to have studied at Cambridge University as acquaintances, as…show more content… Readers get a sense that Robbie has a hidden anger towards Cecilia for a lack of her loyalty as they grew older. Cecilia is shown to be quite "lazy" at the beginning, in terms of finding work to keep her occupied and in contrast, Robbie does difficult manual labour for her family. She "knows she could not go on wasting her days in the stews of her untidied room, lying on her bed in a haze of smoke" (p20), and is also upset that she does not have a reason for treating Robbie as inadequately as she does. This is a misunderstanding of her love. This highlights the class differences between them as, Cecilia is from a wealthy family and Robbie and his mother works for her family. Briony is influenced by this couple as she views their interactions and creates them into stories of Robbie harassing her sister. Cecilia is also aware of her duties as a woman as she takes over the roles of a hostess and even caretaker when her parents are absent. It is shown that she is unable to escape her roles as a woman.…show more content… Robbie is shown to be aware of this situation, however when he states that "he could not explain his optimism - he was happy and therefore bound to succeed" (p83) and this shows that he is aware of his lower class however, he feels confident in his abilities and therefore is not worried. This represents the author's thoughts that social structures do nothing other than to limit an individual's success. Emily Tallis is shown to be quite biased as when Robbie is blamed for the rape, she is ready to be suspect him as his lower class "makes" him a maniac and therefore capable of this crime. Danny Hardman is the other person that is accused of committing the rape and this is because he is of lower class than the family and class distinction made him a suspect in this crime. However, Emily likes Paul Marshal, even despite his "dullness" (p44), solely based on his affluent, upper class. Briony has been raised in this family and is affected by the accusations made by her family. She is the one who beings Robbie's note to her