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Imprisoned for Love Essay

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Robbie has been falsely accused and imprisoned and Cecilia has abandoned the family altogether to prove her enduring love for him. After three years Robbie leaves prison to join the army and exonerate himself for the crime he never committed. Briony does not go on to Cambridge but instead becomes a lowly, nameless nurse performing monotonous tasks like cleaning bedpans and tidying wards under the rule of a tyrannical nurse. Once the war moves closer to London she can be found taking care of Robbie by proxy through the nameless soldiers that are hospitalized daily, maimed and dying. She is paying penance but curiously she never asks for forgiveness from those she loves who could give it to her, Cecilia and Robbie. She continues on in this…show more content…
Then he reveals it is her all along. This is her attempt at atonement with her future readers. Rewrite upon rewrite, several versions of the same story. She incorporates correspondences, research, interviews, and historical accounts all to build validity and to recreate the truth she had first experienced and once knew on the actual day of the crime. She is once again the 13 year old Briony from the beginning of the novel, imaginative, attention seeking, having an obsession with order and a passion for control. Here she recognizes, “Our crime-Lola, Marshall’s and mine.”(348) and she takes responsibility for it. Briony reveals that the reality is she never saw Cecilia again after she left the family, and that aside from a brief encounter in a café as Robbie was shipping out they never saw one another again. She instead rewrites their ending to try and right the wrong. “But what really happened? The answer is simple: the lovers survive and flourish. As long as there is a single copy, a solitary typescript of my final draft, then my spontaneous, fortuitous sister and medical prince survive to love.”(350-1) The sequence of events that she erroneously records as fact, the meeting with a united Robbie and Cecilia with plans of retracting her testimony, were her attempts to tell how she would have written the story if it had been hers to manipulate. This is her fantasy. Robbie dying in France and Cecilia in the Blitz is
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