Guilt And Forgiveness In Atonement

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Is it fair that all of Robbie’s hopes and dreams were confiscated because of a 13 year old girl accusing him of a crime that was never proven to be true? In the book Atonement by Ian McEwan Briony is an adolescent in the beginning and does not understand the changes of adulthood. When her cousin Lola comes to her and confesses she has been raped she assumes it was Robbie because of a sexual contented letter she finds that he wrote to her sister. As a result his life changes drastically and every goal he has in life is wiped away. We later come to find he was not the one who committed the crime. This leads the reader into the theme of guilt and forgiveness shown throughout The Atonement as Briony grows older. Guilt and forgiveness influences Briony because she has accused Robbie of a crime he did not commit and she struggles with the guilt over this and wants forgiveness. …show more content…

In Atonement, Briony, a 13 year old girl has a cousin living with her named Lola who confesses she has been raped on this summer night. She also finds out earlier in the day that Robbie wrote her sister a very explicit, sexual note and thinks he is very aggressive. Lola tells Briony that she does not know who did this, so in result she blames Robbie based on the person she thinks he is. When Briony tells the police about the rape they sentence Robbie years in prison and he later is deployed to war so he can be out of prison. He had all hopes and dreams of going to medical school to become a doctor. But because of this he is not able to fulfill his desirable career while being in prison. He also is not able to spend the rest of his life with Celia, the love of his life because he is sent away. Later in the novel, Briony learns that Paul Marshall is the real person who raped Lola. She lives with a lifetime of guilt for ruining Robbie and Celia’s life. She never gains forgiveness from Robbie nor Celia because as Robbie says, yes she was only 13, this is an unbearable thing to forgive her

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