Ian Mcewan's Treatment Of Time And Art In Atonement

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Ian Mcewan's Treatment of Time and Art in Atonement

Ian Mcewan's Treatment of Time and Art in Atonement


Atonement is studied to be a family saga novel that was written by Ian McEwan and was published in the year 2001. This novel is about understanding and responding to the need for atonement. This novel has been set in four time periods including the pre, present and post of World War II. This novel continues to cover the story of a young upper class girl whom makes an innocent mistake which leads to ruining the lives of people related to her. The novel consists of four separate temporal periods which further reflect the story of the girl's adulthood which is left in shadows and leads into a reflection on the nature of writing. This novel is regarded as one of the best works of Ian McEwan. This novel was also named as in the All Time 100 greatest novels by Time Magazine and was also shortlisted for Booker Prize for fiction in the year 2001. There a number of important learning that are learned from this novel but the treatment of time and art that has been provided by Ian Mc Ewan is the essence of this novel and a basis for the evolution of the novel's plot. The core focus of this paper is to discuss and analyze the treatment of time and arts presented in the Ian McEwan's novel “Atonement”.


It is very important to create a basis for the analysis of this novel that the author of this novel has provided a very nice ground for the treatment of time and arts which revolves around a young teenage girl. It is analyzed that a great focus has been put on the development of the girl's talent with the passage of time. It has been presented in this novel that a 13 year old English girl named Briony Tallis lived with her family and had a very significant talent of writing. It is further observed that Cecilia, the elder sister of Briony attended the University of Cambridge with Robbie Turner who was the childhood friend of Cecilia and son of the housekeeper of the Tallis family. Further,n it has been observed that Cecilia is found to have a sexual tension towards Robbie and both of them are seen by Briony. This situation is discontinued by Briony and defined as Robbie's aggressive behavior towards her. On the other hand, Robbie realizes that he is being attracted towards Cecilia and writes a number of love letters to Cecilia and gives them to Briony to be delivered to Cecilia (McEwan, 2011). Once, Briony gets a letter from Robbie which contained vulgar references that he meant to discard. Accidentally, Briony read this letter which disturbed her and she thought Robbie to be a maniac and have bad and evil intentions for Cecilia. Then one day she finds Cecilia and Robbie making love in the library and misinterprets ...