Atonement Character Analysis

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Transitioning from childhood to adulthood involves a pivotal moment in one’s life, resulting in a necessary loss of innocence to shape who a person will become. In Atonement by Ian McEwan, the teenage protagonist, Briony Tallis, commits a grave crime that separates two star-crossed lovers and destroys her once innocent childhood. As a teenager, she actively uses her imagination to help with her writing, remaining unaware of adulthood. However, her imagination, combined with her highly demanding and attention seeking personality, convinces her that she is always correct, and as a consequence allow her to falsely accuse a man of rape. The one pivotal moment that Briony experienced may have negatively affected her life and those around her, however, it was a necessity for her to mature and realize her mistakes.
The novel opens with Briony Tallis at 13 years old as she pursues her writing career through her play, The Trials of Arabella. Through the main character of her play she is able to reveal a portion of herself and at the same time foreshadow a major plot of the novel, “My darling one, you are young and lovely, but inexperienced, and though you think the world is at your feet, it can rise up and tread on you” (16). Briony is written to be an obsessive and egocentric character and especially with her active imagination she tends to distort reality and act upon her delusions. When Briony witnesses the shocking exchange between Robbie and Cecilia at the fountain, the pivotal
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