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

Consider the significances of innocence in Part One of Atonement.

Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  • Essay length: 1177 words
  • Submitted: 15/10/2011
  • Reviewed by: (?) groat
Share this essay:
AS and A Level Ian McEwan

Peer review rating

4 star(s)

read the full review

The first 200 words of this essay...

Consider the significances of innocence in Part One of Atonement.

Innocence can be defined as being pure and lacking corruption, having little knowledge of something's consequences, and is also used as a euphemism for virginity. McEwan explores innocence as key theme in Atonement throughout Part One, showing how the main characters' innocence, or lack of, forms the narrative plot.

McEwan creates the nursery setting to represent Lola's innocence, having Paul Marshall's intrusion show her vulnerability. Despite 'the adult she considered herself at heart to be' McEwan has 'Lola had come to the nursery that morning' to show the irony of her desires. Although she is fifteen, McEwan places most of Lola's acts in the nursery, a room which has strong connotations of being cared for as a young child. This makes it clear to the reader she may not be ready for adult experiences, emphasising her innocence. McEwan creates Paul Marshall to be seemingly pure as he enters the nursery in his 'white suit', with Lola's vulnerability made clear as she thinks 'a game was being played' whilst they conversed. However, the trust surrounded with the nursery is broken as he sees 'that the girl was almost

Read more
The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Review of essay

Reviewed by: groat

Rating: 4 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay engages with the task well. I particularly liked how there was an exploration of what innocence means, and this clearly benefits this candidate as the essay becomes focused on the connotations and definition. Having a strong critical voice is essential at A-Level, and by engaging with the key terms in the question, you are showing the examiner you have this skill. There is a sustained focus on McEwan's techniques to present innocence, and further to that a discussion of why innocence is significant. I thought the point about Briony's literary innocence is very sophisticated, and there could've been more exploration of this point. If I were answering this question, I would looking at how McEwan uses older Briony and metafiction to make Briony seem more innocent as a child. Atonement can be a difficult text to analyse, but this essay does it well.

Level of analysis

The analysis in this essay is strong. What I love about this essay is the way everything said has a relevance to the question, and there isn't a point which simply retells the plot. For example the comment "Although she is fifteen, McEwan places most of Lola’s acts in the nursery, a room which has strong connotations of being cared for as a young child" is able to explore the technique concisely. This essay has a sustained focus on the reader response to the text. Examiners are looking for the significances of innocence to the plot, but beyond that the reader and critical responses. Phrases such as "this makes it clear to the reader" and "guides the reader" shows a strong ability to explore interpretations of the texts. Examiners are particularly keen to see interpretations being evaluated. For example "It could be argued that this innocence is a facade" is brilliant, but this essay does not draw upon which arguments are strongest. If I were writing this essay, I would be saying "this argument isn't as strong because" or "although this is one interpretation, it seems weaker because" to ensure the arguments are evaluated.

Quality of writing

This essay has an excellent structure. The introduction is concise, engaging with the question and posing a strong argument. Paragraphs are logically picked, and the signposts are clearly relevant to the question. Opening sentences such as "McEwan has younger Briony’s lack of writing experience show her innocence" are a great way to start paragraphs. It summarises the points, making it clear to the examiner you aren't repeating anything, whilst staying closely focused on the question. The style here is brilliant - there is always a focus on McEwan's constructions, and how he constructs the novel to have a certain response. Phrases such as "therefore" and "as a result" show a clear progression through the argument, and the points follow very clearly. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are flawless.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.