| Atonement: Barricading the Ladder | |
Ms. C. Kivinen
Due: April 27th 2012
Atonement: Daryl Deebrah April 21/2012
Class conflict is not new. Complications between the classes have occurred many times throughout history and the theme has been explored numerous times different pieces of literature by a variety of authors. However, in Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement, he provides the reader with a unique perspective on class conflict. In Atonement, characters such as Emily and Briony Tallis, who represent the educated and elite upper social class, feel a special kinship to others in the same class and to the status…show more content…
Thinking that Lola’s rape is no coincidence, Briony believes it is the perfect way to expose Robbie the “maniac”. Though she only sees the silhouette of Lola’s rapist, Briony convinces herself and Lola that it was surely Robbie. She goes on to lie to the authorities, acting as a key witness providing false but seemingly true and crucial information to the case: ‘You saw him with your own eyes.’/ ‘Yes. I saw him. I saw him.’” (McEwan 181). The result is the framing and conviction of Robbie Turner, which stops any further social progression by him and exemplifies how “Robbie and Cecilia are sacrificial lambs to the gods of English social traditions” (Davis 1).
In part two of Atonement, Robbie’s relationship with corporals Mace and Nettle serves as an allegory for Robbie’s ambiguous social position. The recent war events have made Mace and Nettle indistinguishable, at least through Robbie’s perception/perspective. Ian McEwan uses Mace and Nettle to represent the identical twins, Jackson and Pierrot, from earlier on in the book, who belonged to the upper social class. Though formally outranked by both privates, Robbie takes lead, challenging their dominance and leadership: “He