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Essay Plan - The Theme of Social Class in Atonement.

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Theme of Social Class in Atonement. Introduction Points : 1. Atonement set in 1935 England where society was highly influenced by the social class system. 2. From the beginning, the narrative forces the reader to realize that this is note the tale of just one family in Southern England but a cross section of British society at that particular time frame before the war changed everything. 3. Social class plays a key role in Atonement ï establishes the background and foundations for the tragedy 4. A series of misunderstandings and misinterpretations set in train the events that culminate in Robbie Turner being wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he did not commit. 5. Prejudice & assumptions based on class stereotypes contribute to this process at several points. Most importantly, though, his conviction in the flimsiest of evidence reveals how pervasive attitudes to class were in England in the 1930s. Body Points : 1. ...read more.


All of these factors prevent the emergences of a natural relationship between these two who have known each other for so long. Body {2} points : 1. The early misunderstanding between them is due to the difference in social class. 2. Robbie removing his shoes and socks is explicitly misinterpreted by Cecilia as an insult and an attempt to distance her. 3. Similarly Robbie misinterprets Cecilia?s undressing at the pond as an attempt to humiliate him. 4. These incidents convey the complexity of emotions in play that day. ?He saw it clearly now. The idea was to humiliate him. There it stood, the undeniable fact.? He thought as her ?Treating him though he were an infant.? 5. Their unequal social class positions cause tension and awkwardness between them. 6. Social class alone is not responsible for the day?s outcome. Briony also misinterprets the fountain scene and she herself says ?The sequence was illogical?. ...read more.


Social class plays a central role in other parts of the novel too. 2. In Part 2 ï the two working class corporals who accompany Robbie see him as a leading figure/leader/note his natural leadership potential even though he comes from a lower rank. 3. Briony and Cecilia volunteer for the lower-class occupation of nursing and witness a breakdown of social class. 4. The coda makes the reader aware that the class structure of Britain has changed. Briony’s taxi driver Michael, is a law graduate and is also studying as a postgraduate in one of the most prestigious Universities in England : The London School Of Economics. He drives a taxi because he needs the money and is even more educated than Briony. Conclusion : 1. It is clear that class-based prejudice & attitudes underlie the whole of the central plot of the novel which can be viewed as an extended critique of a set of assumptions based on false evidence which paves the way for the condemn of an innocent man. ...read more.

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