• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Aspects of Narrative in "Atonement ".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Aspects of Narrative Atonement ? Ian McEwan Atonement is set in Surrey, South East England in the summer of 1935, on the grounds of the Tallis family estate. McEwan has set the opening in the summer, possibly to evoke a sense of calmness and composure amongst the characters. We find out relatively early on, that the Tallis family have maids to do the cooking and household chores, as well as a young gardener, who works on the grounds, with some other men. McEwan could be allowing the reader to assume that the Tallis family are fairly wealthy, perhaps illustrating a secure and stable family. Although there is an atmosphere of celebration, along with the arrival of Briony?s cousins, McEwan does hint at signs of distraction, highlighting that not all is as it seems. First of all, the family vase that originally belonged to Cecilia?s Uncle, and has been kept safe within the family?s estate for years, is broken. Secondly, the meal that has been prepared is far too hot for a summer?s day, and thirdly, Briony?s cousins are disappointing actors, who are ruining her play. ...read more.

Middle

In the opening chapters, McEwan has used the contrast between light and dark to set the mood. When it is light, we saw the characters being themselves, remaining calm and composed, however as soon as it becomes dark, the atmosphere is tense and anxious, and the characters start to act on impulse. For example, we can see how Briony automatically assumes Lola?s rapist is Robbie, as she thought he had also abused her sister earlier on that day. Ian McEwan uses setting in the novel Atonement to introduce characters and situations as well as supporting the moods in the novel. Characterisation is another aspect of narrative that McEwan uses to help the reader understand how the characters act, work and what their values are. Ian McEwan creates a convincingly clever narrative?one that exploits the reader?s natural inclination toward trust, in both the narrator and the author. McEwan opts for the story action to be told from the third-person perspective, writing from the fictionalised Briony?s point of view. ...read more.

Conclusion

McEwan has presented Cecilia as a fairly blunt, fearless woman, not only through descriptive language, but also dialogue. For example, during the water fountain scene, Cecilia uses short and sharp sentences, that could have an ambiguous meaning. The dialogue ?you must love the student life? might perhaps have more than one meaning in that context. Is Cecilia genuine, or is she being condescending because she is jealous of Robbie being around other girls? This phrase highlights Cecilia?s personality, which is one of being rather direct and possibly insensitive. This dialogue allows the reader to understand her bold actions later to come. Atonement is set in Surrey, South East England in the summer of 1935, on the grounds of the Tallis family estate. McEwan has set the opening in the summer, possibly to evoke a sense of calmness and composure amongst the characters. Although there is an atmosphere of celebration, along with the arrival of Briony?s cousins, McEwan does hint at signs of distraction, highlighting that not all is as it seems, preparing the reader for the events to come. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Ian McEwan section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Ian McEwan essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An essay that examines whether Briony ever achieves atonement in 'Atonement' by Ian McEwan

    3 star(s)

    a real, dramatic event; she is unable to resist opening the envelops and read the letter. She is deeply shocked by the obscenity, and based on her incomplete understanding of adult sexuality; decides that Robbie is a maniac, and is planning to harm her sister.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Consider the significances of innocence in Part One of Atonement.

    4 star(s)

    'Picasso-like' - she gives numerous viewpoints of the day's events, leaving the reader to piece together the narrative. The repetition of 'there was nothing she could not describe' highlights this irony as throughout Part One the reader isn't given an easily followed, and honest, account of events - her narrative

  1. Peer reviewed

    Analysis of the opening chapter of 'Atonement'

    4 star(s)

    In addition to the above themes of fantasies and growing up, it is through Briony that McEwan introduces the idea of marriage and the importance of social class. Briony's portrayal of marriage and love in her stories is representative of societies expectations at that point in time.

  2. Peer reviewed

    English Literature - Atonement (Essay 2)

    4 star(s)

    The memory of Uncle Clem's exploits symbolically ruined by the broken vase, Robbie's 'heroic' return with the twins shamed by his subsequent arrest, and the vulgar letter ultimately destroying the relationship it once formed.

  1. Peer reviewed

    English Literature - Atonement (Essay 1)

    3 star(s)

    to love"7 - implies that it is one feature of her youthful mentality which hasn't experienced transition. Turning back to the passage, having shown Lola the letter "the effect [on Briony] was gratifying"8, giving further grounds to the idea of a malevolent transition.

  2. Discuss how McEwan uses the setting in part one of "Atonement".

    adolescence, Robbie and Cecelia's secret romance, the Twins and Lola's true devastation of their parents' divorce, Lola's Rape and pervious attack, and Emily's marriage falling apart. All these 'cracks' foreshadows an inevitable fall which in part one results in Robbie's arrest due to lack of communication with family members in the household.

  1. Judging Lines Between Reality and Imagination in Atonement by Ian McEwan

    people that she knew, and what power one could have over the other, and how easy it was to get everything wrong, completely wrong. (37) This passage is foreshadowing the events that take place next and Briony's misinterpretations of those events.

  2. Essay Plan - The Theme of Social Class in Atonement.

    McEwan seems to imply that even those who try to reverse the effects of a resented class system end up protecting the upper class rapist from exposure. Body {4} 1.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work