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Innocence and Experience in "Atonement" and "The Go-Between"

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  • Essay length: 2875 words
  • Submitted: 03/11/2009
  • Marked by teacher: (?) Katie Dixon
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AS and A Level Ian McEwan

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***** 5 Stars
This is an outstanding essay and very difficult to find any area which can be improved. Beautifully written, logically structured, excellent selection of embedded quotes to support comments, inclusion of necessary social and historical contextual factors, quotes from author. Great conclusion. This is a compelling and thoughful essay which makes insightful and perceptive comments. Outstanding.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 05/07/2013

The first 200 words of this essay...

"Adam and Eve, on eating the apple, could not have been more upset than I was" (The Go-Between Ch. 10). Discuss the ways in which the movement from innocence to experience is portrayed in two novels.

"A story of innocence betrayed, and not only betrayed but corrupted" - thus L.P. Hartley set out to write The Go-Between, a story of childhood, sexual awakening, social convention and class. Ian McEwan's Atonement, a postmodern novel heavily influenced by The Go-Between, shares all these themes and more as it explores the nature of innocence and experience.

The Go-Between and Atonement are most notably Bildungsromans - novels which chronicle the "coming of age" of a child. While many novels of the genre feature a movement from innocence to experience in the protagonist, both Leo and Briony, the narrators of these two novels, undergo an exceptionally profound and disastrous loss of innocence. The dual narrative voices of the two novels are themselves both innocent and experienced: the naivety of the juvenile narrator is overlaid with the shrewd hindsight of their aged self. This is used to dramatic effect in Atonement, when the older Briony bluntly states the imminent disaster

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MbT essay summary

***** 5 Stars
This is an outstanding essay and very difficult to find any area which can be improved. Beautifully written, logically structured, excellent selection of embedded quotes to support comments, inclusion of necessary social and historical contextual factors, quotes from author. Great conclusion. This is a compelling and thoughful essay which makes insightful and perceptive comments. Outstanding.

Marked by teacher Katie Dixon 05/07/2013

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