Atonement Part 3. Written from the perspective of Briony She has given up her place at Cambridge in order to ‘help with the war effort’, but is obviously unsure of what to expect . Doesn’t show regret or self pity for doing so.
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Briony finds the other girls she works with ‘theatrical’ in regard to their homesickness, ironic considering her tendency to overdramatise in Part One
Due to her nursing experiences, Briony knows she will never fully understand what Robbie experienced.
Seeing Paul Marshall and Lola getting married is the first time Briony has decided that Paul committed the assault.
After visiting Cecilia and Robbie, Briony comments she knew what was required of her, Not simply a letter, but a new draft, an atonement... P. 349
The epilogue forces the reader to question what is expected from a novel, what the novelist is expected to deliver and whether the narrator has any obligation to truth
McEwan gives the older Briony an ability to imagine herself into her younger skin.
Robbie questioned What did the poets know about survival p. 264, but literature sustains him, making him civilised and human.
Write your own response to the ending.