Social Relationships In Atonement
We cannot and McEwan helps explore this conundrum through the so called ‘different’ perspectives which reveal different character interrelationships which as it turns out, may not be as they seem. Readers see the story played out through the various characters which appears to enable us to understand the story in its entirety. This however as we learn at the end of the novel, is a deception and just as the author within the story (Briony) deceives her family and the police with her ‘lie’, she also deceives the very people she is trying to prove her atonement to. It is eventually revealed that the different view points were in reality just one as we discover the sole author of the ‘novel within the novel’ was in fact Briony and that the retelling of the story was quite fictitious. We as readers have been manipulated just like the characters of the text and this makes us question whether (near the end) she is really sorry for her actions and whether her attempt at atonement is successful. Unfortunately, we have no other choice but to accept her view of events as we are given no alternatives. Briony’s attempt at redemption shows us the views of the different characters through ‘her eyes’ and in truth, the interrelationships we have explored are only shown by what she perceived them to …show more content…
It was merely a weak attempt at seeking redemption without telling the full truth. After all she has gone through to ‘win’ the reader over, we realize that we have been deceived and no longer feel a sympathy towards her as it is now hard to believe that she really does want to ‘atone.’
Atonement is a text worthwhile for readers of the modern society of today, as the themes portrayed are still relevant and we can learn from the events and ideas conveyed.
People’s reliance on the ‘second hand’ truth, the effects of social structure and causality are some of the relevant themes in today’s society that are revealed by McEwan with the help of character interrelationships. By exposing the characters for which they really are, McEwan attempts to bring light to some of the things that influence our very lives everyday. By using character interrelationships McEwan emphasises these ideas and exaggerates them to make clear points that life doesn’t always have a ‘happily ever after’ but instead it is what we do (regardless of how insignificant) that has an effect on other people and that regardless of how hard we try and deny it, social structure does have an effect on us whether we like it or