Briony's Journey In Atonement

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Joseph Campbell, the author of A Hero with a Thousand Faces believes that a hero must be able to atone for his actions during the initiation stages of his journey. In fact, Campbell states that one cannot proceed with the stages of hero hood until atonement has been achieved. After all, heroes must be morally just and weaknesses regarding one’s past would only collide with everyday heroic conquests. The liberation of one’s personal demons through repentance is a prevalent motif in Atonement. In Part Three, Briony’s ultimate goal is to gain her sister’s forgiveness, however her desire to become her own hero is often overshadowed by her fear of confrontation. In Atonement, the author Ian McEwan uses contrasting language to demonstrate the paradox…show more content…
In addition, the ominous diction that McEwan chooses to utilize to illustrate these objects add to the overall tone of the moment. Words such as “thumping,” “rumble,” “gloom,” and “rusting” contribute to the building tension that Briony is experiencing. This shows her trepidation and uncertainty towards her decision to communicate with Cecilia. However despite her animosity towards her confrontation, she continues to walk forwards. It becomes increasingly obvious that there is an internal struggle that her subconsciousness must override, in order for her to progress. The long diction also contributes to her unease, as there is one continuous strand of specific descriptions in a long chain. This allows the reader to feel exhilarated and perhaps, mindful of their own diabolical surroundings. Shorter sentences show the certainty of Briony’s decision as these sentences are concise and not convoluted. Near the end of the passage, the reader sees exactly this as she begins to ask herself rhetorical questions in a straightforward…show more content…
Throughout the journey, they experienced trying circumstances that tested their resolve. Ultimately, they were able to choose the “correct” course of action.. The one thing absolute about the process is the hero’s strength and determination. In Atonement, McEwan uses contrasting language to demonstrate the paradox between the certainty of structured choices and the difficulty of overcoming adversity. Briony’s absoluteness was what allowed her to approach Cecilia and atone for her actions, though her entire journey was shrouded in doubt and uncertainty. Robbie Turner’s actions in the second part alluded to his indecisiveness, though a content facade was present throughout. Regardless, both characters were able to continue the journey to become heroes in their own

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