Literary Themes In Ian Mcewan's Atonement

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In order to explore the fundamental themes of Atonement, Ian McEwan employs a plethora of literary techniques. For instance, the concepts of children impersonating adults, the author as a god, the corruption inside marriage and war, and misinterpretation of adult ideas, are scrutinised by McEwan. McEwan dissects how people undertake roles unsuitable for their position in society through the employment of literary techniques. After Lola’s first encounter with her rapist Marshall, she is described as wearing a “blue-satin sheath dress”, something much more mature than the expected garb of an adolescent. This dress is juxtaposed against Lola’s childish features, such as her “loose” hair and “bare [feet]”, generating pathos for Lola, as she attempts to comprehend her traumatic encounter through sartorial precocity. In the same scene, 13-year-old Briony labels the twins “little kids”, consolidating Lola’s troubling position of maturity. In addition, McEwan utilises imagery to portray Briony’s attempt to act as both an adult and God after interrupting Cecilia and Robbie’s lovemaking. In order to simultaneously cast herself as the hero and Robbie as the villain, Briony describes Robbie as “huge and wild”, as if he were a beast who had “trapped” Cecilia. In contrast to the imagery of Robbie, Briony details herself as Cecilia’s “protector”, an “intruder” to Robbie’s ‘malicious’ activity. By misinterpreting the scene through the use of imagery, Briony imbues herself with

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