Essay on Social Class : Atonement By Ian Mcewan

Essay on Social Class : Atonement By Ian Mcewan

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Social Class: Atonement by Ian McEwan


In the novel Atonement by Ian Mcewan an unlikely love is formed between Cecilia and Robbie. Unlikely because Robbie was the son of a servant who worked in the house that cecilia and her family owned. As strange as this love was it all came to a stand still when Briony Cecilia”s younger sistervwalks into the library and witnesses Cecilia and Robbie relating to one another in a way that Briony is just too young to understand. As her curiosity festers she comes to the conclusion that Robbie had raped Cecilia. As absurd as the idea is to the reader iin the novel this is quite logical to Briony. So when Lola Briony and Cecilia’s cousin is violated in the field of grass by Paul Marshall it is only logical that Briony is again lead to believe that it was indeed Robbie who had done this to Lola. Despite Briony’s hardy glimpse to what happened to Lola she was so sure that it was Robbie, but why?


Was Briony’s failure to see reality for what it really was the fault of her own imagination or the societal immunity Paul Marshall possessed because he was of the higher class? As creepy and suspicious as Paul was it never so much as crossed the minds of any of the characters in the novel that it could have been him. Even Robbie himself looked to Danny Hardman to blame.


Well was it as societal problem or just a Briony Problem? Well Jonathan Cape author of “Who’s Afraid of Influence” from the journal The Guardian argues that it was just Briony’s childish arrogance. He believes that it has nothing to do with society but more of her and her family. He makes the point that Briony is a 13 year old girl at the time that has been isolated in this house in with no really exposure to anything. She has no real i...


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Matthew’s view on the novel was quite interesting his theory’s and points shed light onto concepts that i had not considered before. This gives me a better understand on why Robbie was convicted. Before i had not made the connection that the Mother of the Tallis family would want to separate Robbie and Cecilia and to do this she would send Robbie away to jail. His journal helped my theory that the class system had a lot to do with Robbie’s wrongful conviction, and that Briony’s accusation wasn 't the only reason on why he went away.

Both Cape’s and Matthew’s journals were very interesting and help with my understanding of the novel and supported my view on social class within McEwan’s novel. They brought about new theories and views that i had previously overlooked. Further validating my statement.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/sep/22/fiction.ianmcewan

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