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The Role Of Uncle Clem 's Vase

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Explore the role of Uncle Clem’s vase in Atonement Within Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel Atonement, Uncle Clem’s vase occurs at critical moments plays a critical role throughout the plot, helping to depict different forms of love and the class division. It is discovered that Uncle Clem obtained the vase during the First World War when he was given the vase by a thankful occupant of a French town that he had helped to evacuate. We learn that the vase itself is a particularly expensive item and has been passed down onto Cecelia and her family. Therefore it could be interpreted that the vase has a lot of sentimental value to the family and is their ‘keepsake’ in memory of their Uncle Clem. The vase itself helps to show the relationship between both Robbie and Cecelia in a multitude of different ways, for example its shattering and the different types of wild flower arranged within. As well as this the vase also signifies the difference in class within the war and how, no matter your status in a time of crisis everyone is the same, either dead or alive. “Bryony raised two hands to her face and stepped back a little way from the window. She should shut her eyes, she thought, sparing her sister’s shame.” This moment alone, demonstrates how the incident of the vase being smashed led to Bryony believing that Robbie is forcing Cecelia to undress in front of him. “The factor that she stepped a little back form the window,” shows how taken aback Bryony is over the incident, this
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