Atonement – Ian Mc Ewan Essay
A radical revolt, questioning the notion of a scent. What we have In our discourse is not simply that language reflects a particular truth; the sign doesn’t refer to a fixed kind of object. Language Is composed of a variety of signs which continually refer to other signs. To differ substitution of signs. The infinite differing of meaning = difference. If the truth is questioned, the concept of humanism is also questioned; it reflects the values off particular historical point. This is called “discursively constructive” = SST that is created, but does not pre-exist.
Shift from universal to particular values: everything Is constructed and Is not pre- existing. There is ethical concern is Atonement. It’s a post modernist novel. We move from fiction to metrification always systematically. Metrification is dealing with how fiction is produced. Something textual – it’s not an essence, constructed and divided. The distinction between fiction and metrification is blurred. The fictionally of the world is questioned. Intellectuality becomes also Important – allusions to other authors. The language citations are used and show how constructed and how artificial English literature Is.
It Is called In the post-modernist era (Linda Hutchison), a parody = referring to the sat with a difference. History Is seen as very Toll Ana prominent – moving away Trot revolutionize tendencies. They want to reemphasize the importance of historical detail. Novels are often a way of questioning the process in which we can write about history. It’s not a historical novel in the conventional sense, but it’s a novel in order to prompt ourselves to ask the question about the perspective of history. In “Atonement” is showed how difficult it is to reconstruct the totality of the war.
Questioning of writing history, historiographer – writing history is some kind of story writing. This novel explicitly shows that it’s constructed from reality. It shows the different phases of writing a book. Emphasis on the “ex-centric”: emphasis on ethnic minorities, women… After the war, many writers start to write about groups that start to be ignored. There is no notion of a centre and the centre cannot speak from everybody. Modernism privileges things that are fluid and unfixed. It’s often difficult to distinguish between the two literary movements.
We focus on how fiction is close to reality. Blurring of science and fiction. Ms Anew He was born in 1948 and studied at the University of East Anglia in Norwich which is till famous for the course of creative writing. This is a course for apprentice writers. The novelists found at this course are Malcolm Bradbury – novels about campus life. A great number of writers in the UK have graduated from his creative writing course, including Ian Ms Anew. In the early period, there was a focus on the bizarre: “The Comfort of Strangers”: Story of young honeymooners in Venice.
They face a danger of meeting an older couple until finally they are trapped in the house who are sexual perverts and who eventually killed them. Later, he became concerned with the notion of good and evil. “Black Dogs” (1992) – deals with the world after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. “Black Dogs” is a symbol that fascism is still with us; they are the Nazi dogs who used to torture the prisoners. “Atonement” 2 “Saturday’ (2005) – one day in the life of a neurosurgeon, who is attacked during the day and on the very same day, he has to perform an operation on the man who attacked him -> moral dilemma.
There allusions of the post 9/1 1 and terrorism. How do we have to react towards such situations? The Gothic note of the novel is adapted to the contemporary period. The Gothic was a mind of style that developed in the 18th century which reintroduced the irrational in contrast to the philosophical enlightenment of romanticism. It is prominent in the novels by Jane Austin (“Northerner Abbey’, “Emma”), Bronze (“Withering Heights”). “Atonement” is in the same tradition. At the beginning of “Atonement”, there is a quotation from “Northerner Abbey’, Ian Ms Anew questions the rationality and the social structure of the British society. Atonement” – In modernism, there is a preoccupation with shifting points of view and with morality. This preoccupation with ethics is typically British. There is always this difficulty of seeing, because the weather is too bright. Historiographer metrification of the second World War. Story analysis. The first chapter is about a play written by Bryony. The beginning is ironic because the play reflects the wider plot and shows what is going to happen to Bryony herself. Bryony is interested in gothic prose, she is like Mrs. Mooreland, unable to distinguish what is gothic and what is not.
The end of Britons play is characterized with a happy ending and it’s what is certainly not going to happen in “Atonement”. Bryony studies ere mother’s face because she wants her to approve of her play > study of detail. Bryony wants to control people, Just like Jane Statute’s “Emma”. She is so meticulous; she is Just like the general of an army unlike her sister who is closed in her room among books. Bryony is a contradiction because she likes order and she likes secrets. What she enjoys are very insignificant things. There is a great emphasis placed on her sense of order. She did not have it in her to be cruel” – ironic passage of the book, she doesn’t realize that she’s cruel. You can be cruel without even knowing it; it’s something she’s ongoing to discover at the end of the book. Bryony is an artist. The book is about being a writer. The young Bryony is the centre of the attention but we can sense an omniscient narrator telling the story. “l en trials AT Ordeal” – Bryony play Is centralize as a melodrama, exactly want is going to happen to her. 1945- very conservative social background. Thinking of divorce isn’t popular.
The story of the sister is of a failed marriage – like an echo. P. 13 – there is already a conflict between the characters about the leading roles of the play. Lola wants to have the leading role and Bryony eventually decides that she is ongoing to be the director of the play. She is very authoritarian. The difficulties of putting out a play – PROBLEM OF MEDICATION. Chapter 2 We are introduced to Cecilia. We have an omniscient narrator who explores what goes in the mind of the character. Cilia’s estate is a kind of paradise. Being expelled from the Tallish estate is like being expelled from paradise.
Emphasis on the notion of “gaze”, “look” > looking doesn’t always mean “to understand”. P. 21 Another literary allusion “Claries” by Richardson. This story is about love. The world of “Atonement” is the world of books. The first chapters take place in the library, something unusual in post modernism. The novel is about social values, transgressing the rules : Cecilia would like to have her independence. Cecilia is quite bold, she has much more freedom; she is wild and in that sense she is opposed to Bryony. Cecilia has feelings of attachment for Robbie but she wants to remain independent.
Memories of the war are already present in the first chapters. They have a symbolic value. The vase is symbolic of the war, it’s something she’s always been very attached to. Everything in this novel is associated with the war. . 27 He is in a very difficult position, he is in between two classes in a very structured society which is rather tight. He is somewhat different from everybody else. Roadie wants to study malice, Just Like In ten “l orals AT Areola”, winner ten woman falls in love with a medical doctor. There is a omniscient perspective but we are in Cilia’s mind.
There is some kind of tension between them and she doesn’t want to acknowledge the fact that she is in love with him. Restatement of different positions in the society. She is in a very difficult position herself, because she went to Cambridge. She didn’t have good grades ( different from Robbie) and she is in a position of inferiority. The tension of the vase is in between them, because it’s going to break. The book is full of echoes because the vase is going to break again a second time at another part of the novel. It is a symbol of kindness and all sort of things.
One can read in this breaking vase a proliferation of Robber’s and Cilia’s relationship. Emphasis on light. Because it’s supposed to be written by Bryony who is trying to imitate Virginia Wolf’s style. It’s almost a pastiche. There is a reminiscence of the stream of consciousness in Virginia Wolf, we know hat’s going on in Cilia’s mind. When Bryony receives the rejection letter from the horizon, it’s quite similar. P. 30 The sense of being not willing to surrender. She is in a furry. “As she climbed into the water in her underwear” – insignificant detail, like in Virginia Wolf’s “Solid Objects”.
Little details are going to cause a disaster. “The Trials of Rubella”, the trials of the heroin who later has to atone what she has done. “Rubella” is an opera by Richard Strauss and it is extremely refined, it’s about how husband and wife are finally reconciled and enjoyed a peaceful life of domesticity. Richard Strauss was a major composer of the 20th century and he was the last on to be a romantic. His latest compositions are about death and transfiguration but they are in an extremely romantic style. 1949 is very late indeed ; because there was a lot of experimental music by other composers. Medieval castle” – gothic allusions. Emphasis on nature. Like in Northerner Abbey, there is a mistake of perception. It’s a gothic and post modern perspective. Do we have the right to make such mistakes? I Nils novel Is written Day ten 010 Bryony Ana It could not De peduncles ruling near lifetime. Metrification. P. 8 stream of consciousness, limited view. Robbie is present as a rapist. Bryony likes to rearrange reality, typical of writers. But do writers have the right to do p. 39 “gazing” – gazing doesn’t give the ability to understand. “Unambiguous sunlight” – emphasis on light but light doesn’t seem to help.
Irony – because she things she’s getting it wrong when she’s not getting it wrong. She is initiated to adult life and it’s the beginning of her career as a writer. P. 40 “hidden observer like herself” – sense of perspective. Is she not becoming the villain? Can we say that a point of view is always legitimate? After all, it’s not all relative, it’s not a matter of playful reference, it’s also about ethics. “There did not have to be a moral” – that’s what she thought at the time. However, the fact that the “Atonement” novel is made of divisions questions this.
She is obviously making a mistake as not to commit herself. She writes in the style of V. Wolf, it’s not completely neutral, but she doesn’t assume that all you need to do is to write about the same thing described from different perspectives but dismissing the concept of values – this is her mistake as a writer. The voice of the late Bryony is aware that she was conceited. It’s the wrong genre” – like if drama wasn’t appropriate to what she has written. Metrification again. Paul Marshall is introduced to her. From the start, he is depicted as someone very old-baring, someone who is aware of his importance.
The villain of the gothic tale. Paul Marshall is interested in Lola. There is a conversation and he’s talking about himself all the time. He is talking also about the Rainbow ammo (=love) bar. She’s not mistaken about the fact that Marshall is stupid. She learns that Robbie has been invited by her brother to have diner with the family and she’s upset about it. Chapter 5 Lola is again a possible literary allusion. Lola – Nabob, Elliot, represents sexuality. Ian Ms Anew wants to show that. There is a conversation between Paul Marshall, the children and Lola for the first time. A literary allusion to “Hamlet” wanly suggests Tanat you needn’t read to much because you start to think different things and that you begin to behave like a snob, like Paul Marshal Chapter 6 Perspective of the mother, reminiscent of Mrs. Dally, p. 68 she’s a little bit like Mrs. Dally, she can no longer procreate. She’s missing the comfort of having a child to take care of. The crisis of middle age and the regret of no anger having children, consciously an imitation of Virginia Wolf. Chapter 7 Bryony is persuaded that she has her great talent developing. P. 2 “pastoral ideal” – emphasis on the nature, rather than on the rational- typical of gothic. Emphasis on perspective. There is an attempt of Bryony to imitate the expressionistic style of Virginia Wolf. P. 76 “come back” – like a leitmotiv used in different contexts used between Cecilia and Robbie and Cecilia and her sister, like “come back from a nightmare”. So she was not able to come back! Chapter 8 Focuses on Robbie. He is in his study, where you’re going to find medical and literary kooks. P. 82 Addend’s poems – major poet of the 20th century. It is important because it has to do with the destruction of the values of Europe.
All these magazines really existed. T. S Eliot is another poet. ( “on the waste land”? ). This is an echo when Bryony receives a rejection from another magazine. He lives in a world that is full of books. It’s a novel about fiction, something that the movie couldn’t reproduce because it’s another media. Allusion to Shakespearean comedies – “Twelfth Night” – a very dark comedy in which the main character is fooled by everybody and he is unhappily in love. At the end, we eave an Impression Tanat everyone Is nappy except t ml. This applies to Robbie. It’s textual. Other authors: Freud p. 6 Robbie is unease but he is free of any sense of inappropriateness. He is very spontaneous and doesn’t feel awkward of being in between two situations. Relationship of kindness between mother and son. Very intense feelings are expressed very economically. ” when I look for my face in my spoon, I see only you”. P. 92 “he thought of himself in 1962” – Robbie won’t live in 1962. Science – religion-literature = three different ways to see the world. Something you can’t detect in the movie. It took Bryony a second to ruin an entire life. P. 103 Bryony feels different from the rest of the family, she’s less of a conformist. They are going to have a diner and face a heat wave. Heat wave // sexual. Bryony hands in the letter to Cecilia who asks her if she has read it has! Bryony is an illustration of the role of the artist in the society. Chapter Ten – of course she p. 113 Feeling guilty is a major theme in the novel. The writing of this book is a form of atonement. At the end of the book, Bryony is getting more and more sick = physical atonement. Atonement isn’t going to resurrect people. Not only is she mistaken of what has happened, she is also thinking of how profitable it’s going to be for her writing. She is cruel without even knowing.
With the letter some cruelness has been introduced. She thinks that there’s a monster in the house – echo of Northerner Abbey, gothic. Order is not always a good thing because it’s imposing SST wrong on the society. P “seen could never Torture Roadie Nils Lusting mina” I nerve Is good Ana evil and she is determined that the source of evil is Robbie himself. She tells Lola about it. Lola enjoys the power of being the centre of attention. She’s very selfish. There is a degree of fascination. “the man’s a maniac! ” – they are thinking of committing something that will destroy Robber’s and Cilia’s relationship.
They are very naive. The fountain episode is very important and she’s creating stories about this fountain. There is no doubt that the climax has to take place in the library. P. 122 the atmosphere is an imitation of the gothic novel. “what she saw must have been shaped in part by what she already knew, or believed she knew’. “She saw them” – emphasis on gaze. Books are put in parallel with over-anxious imagination. Bryony misinterprets the situation, she is reshaping the world according to her imagination; then she leaves the room. Chapter 11. Diner p. 127 “has England even been hotter? – Robbie compares the hot weather to sexuality. There is a lot of gazing in the whole novel, especially at the diner; however, there is a feeling of discomfort. P. 128 Marshall speaking. “All the rules change” – allusion to sexual heat but it’s also and equivalent of the transgressions of the rules of the whole family. P. 131 We are in the mind of Robbie who is sure of his relationship with Cecilia; direct quotation from Shakespeare but Robbie is wrong about it…. . 137 Another perspective of the library scene – quite sensuous. The supposed attacked was in fact a moment of pleasure.
Ironic parallels : Bryony also thinks she’s reaching another stage in her life. Importance AT ten Moving moment of togetherness; the only moment of togetherness that they’re going to have. The notion of witnessing – Robbie has the impression that God is watching them – like a marriage contract. Religious aspect. P. 142 The twins decide to leave the diner. The leave a letter and they are escaping. P. 144 importance of the number of words in common with seeing. Two mistakes : Interpretation – Bryony Teaching – Robbie : giving the letter to Bryony and to participate in the search.
We are in the mind of the wife, a typical Victorian woman. She doesn’t agree to give money to her husband to be educated. She is aware that there is going to be a war, that there will be a massacre. There is a great number of echoes, including characterization. Robbie is a hybrid because he has been educated, he has been to Cambridge. He has humble origins but doesn’t have the accent of lower people. He doesn’t really fit among other soldiers. Emily doesn’t like Jack’s attitude because she thinks he’s too generous. Robbie was manipulated by the British society. There is a rigidity of classes.
Chapter 13. Focus on Bryony. P. 157 She is excited of this situation in terms of fiction writing. She is exhibiting the selfishness of the artist. Steam of is it good or not good to be a writer? Misconception of reality. She feels that she is the next on Robber’s raping list. P. 158 Bryony is misinterpreting reality. She is mistaken. She has a crush on Robbie as a very young girl. He taught her how to swim. How could someone so benevolent become a villain in the wide imagination of a child? “nothing of that sort would happen in England” – Northerner Abbey – it did happen.