How Does Ian Mcewan Present Briony in Part One of Atonement?

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How does Ian McEwan convey Briony in Part One of Atonement?
At first glance, Ian McEwan presents Briony Tallis as an innocent child who simply witnessed scenes she did not understand, however what we can actually see, as the novel progresses, is that Briony is an attention seeking, self-absorbed, meddling child whose series of incorrect observations come to wreck Cecilia and Robbie’s lives.
We are introduced to Briony Tallis at the very start of the novel, when she is preparing for cousins from the North to arrive and her older brother Leon and his friend Paul Marshall’s return, so that she can perform her play ‘The Trials of Arabella’. From this we can note that Briony is an imaginative child but we also learn that she is attention …show more content…

This refers again to Briony’s desire to be at the center of everything and we can also see that Briony is trying to write herself as a heroine and Robbie as the villain once more.
Whilst in conversation with Lola, Briony’s cousin, Briony tells her of all the events involving Robbie so far, this conveys once more that Briony is a meddling child as she is telling false accusations to people who are not involved in the situation. We can also evidence once more of Briony attention seeking as she had a ‘desire to share a secret and show the older girl that she too had worldly experiences’. Lola further urges Briony’s imagination and makes her belief that Robbie is a ‘maniac’ and could ‘attack anyone’. Following this we can see that not only is Briony immature but she is also ignorant of what is happening and would still rather belief the story that she is building. We can see this when Briony reflects on the memories she had of Robbie as child when he would ‘carry her on his back’ and when he ‘taught her one summer how to tread water and breast stroke’, and instead she perceives these innocent acts to be dangerous as Briony said he ‘pretended to be a beast’ and that ‘she had been alone with him many times at the swimming hole’. These acts would make Robbie seem untrustworthy to a child because beasts are a common factor in children’s nightmares and the thought of a man being

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