Summer Selections: As reader, do you know, or did you see?

by Jessica Hawes

Within Ian McEwan’s Atonement (2001), a multitude of layers reside, from narrative dips into literary histories, to duplicate records of pivotal scenes from alternate perspectives. Traversing the tragic events surrounding a false accusation of rape, the text plays at once a realist and modernist meditation on the repercussions, and at the same time a postmodern metafiction, revealed in the close and throwing the reader’s trust into disarray. Engaging with a legion of literary forms and narrative devices, McEwan presents a text with maximum manipulation of its reader, provoking an active and critical reading and critiquing a reader’s passive acceptance of events. Atonement’s deception thus examines the tension within a cracking contract between author and reader; it is a text of triple authorship, by McEwan, Briony the writer (BT, as she herself signs off), and Briony the child, and this multiplicity manoeuvres the reader in and out of a conscious innocence, and an illusory position of knowledge.[i]

Arguably, the main device within the text which stokes a tension between innocence and knowingness for the reader is the framing: the parts and chapters of the main body are purposefully separated through labelling from BT’s narrative coda ‘London, 1999’.[ii] Prior to the coda, the novel is written as realist fiction, with an omniscient third-person narrator and a mix of nineteenth-century and modernist techniques. The realist telling of events, evident in the natural movement of the characters (Cecilia ‘ran with her flowers along the path’) presents a false security to the reader that the text is one-dimensional, as the spirit of the genre is to be a simple representation of reality.[iii] The ‘classic’ omniscience of the realist narrator is conjured through the ‘“variable internal focalization”’ of the narrative.[iv] At first, the focus centralises on Briony, with repeated pronouns of ‘her’ and ‘she’ exclusively.[v] She is described as waiting for ‘her cousins’ and ‘her brother’, yet the inclusion of her brother indicates they are not just ‘her cousins’, cementing the focalization.[vi] In contrast, the second chapter focalizes upon Cecilia, her interior reverie identified in her ‘blossoming need for a cigarette’.[vii] With this ‘shifting focalization’, the narrator has consequential omniscience, presenting a traditional nineteenth-century trait.[viii] When the focalization shifts to Emily, the marriage between nineteenth-century techniques and modernism is realised, as her thoughts are related in the style of both Virginia Woolf and Impressionist art. Her Woolfian stream-of-consciousness is captured in her measured ‘pursuit of [a] line’ of thought, this line goaded by the noises outside of her ‘darkened’ bedroom, as she ‘let[s] her thoughts move away’ from each concluding musing.[ix]  And in tandem, nineteenth-century Impressionism is reflected in her concentration upon the movement of light, as she observes ‘illuminated points in her vision, little pinpricks, as though the worn fabric of the visible world was being held up against a far brighter light’.[x] And thus with this omniscience, the narrator is allegedly without bias, and trustworthy—until the coda is presented, which ‘drags the reader out of the realist dream’ and reminds them of the author’s jurisdiction over events.[xi]

Within the coda, it is revealed that the main body of the text is a novel written by an adult Briony, BT, in an attempt to atone for her false condemnation of Robbie, which resulted in his (somewhat gently foreshadowed) death at war, and no hope of reunion with Cecilia. The coda crucially reveals the power of the author to play with the reader and coerce their understanding of events, presenting a postmodern shattering of literary expectations, undermining the ‘authority of omniscient narration’.[xii] The predominately realist narrative lulls the reader into a false sense of fictive security, that the content is steadfast and in reading such, the narrative omniscience has been transferred to the reader. However this is an illusion: the inclusion of the coda reconstructs the narrator as unreliable—as adult Briony presenting her perspective of the past. BT verifies her unreliability, testifying to her ‘inventions’, misrepresentations and her ‘absolute power [as author] of deciding outcomes.’[xiii] And thus all content is thrown into question, altered to her ‘artistic purposes’, shattering the reader’s illusion of knowledge.[xiv] In reality the reader is as innocent as Briony was, assuming a position of sure but spurious knowledge, forced to re-evaluate in the face of ‘’denarration’’.[xv] The removal of romantic closure engages with the postmodern; the coda transforms the text into metafiction, a ‘postmodern shock’ to shatter the ‘security’ and reliability of realism, just as the postmodern was designed to break expectations.[xvi] Reflective of the rape, the reader is thrown from knowledge to ravaged innocence, and induced to reside in the tension of a real and sudden emotional response, the atmosphere ‘one of innocence oppressed by knowledge’.[xvii] Thus, McEwan’s framing of the novel, splitting the main body of the realist text from a postmodern coda, exploits a tension cast between innocence and knowingness that the reader is forced to face; it is as though Briony’s police interview then speaks also to the reader: ‘Let’s forget what you know.’[xviii]

Progressively, the conceit of the realist novel is cemented by a predominately linear narrative, ‘traditionally shaped’ as it demonstrates the linear, lived movement of day to day life.[xix] Part One narrates a long hot day in the summer of 1934; Part Two takes place a few years after, detailing Robbie’s experience upon French soil in World War Two. Part Three examines Briony’s time at a London war-time hospital, where she has followed in Cecilia’s footsteps and become a nurse, and the fourth section takes place in 1999, almost sixty years later. As is made evident by the coda, parts One through Three of the text are BT’s authored tale; in accordance with Cyril Connolly’s advice, BT recounts the events in a linear form to provide the ‘underlying pull of simple narrative’, and engender a ‘sense of forward movement’ that her Woolfian focus on the detail of the ‘present moment’ lacked.[xx] However, there seems dual purpose in this linear structure; as well as constructing a stronger narrative, it also assists in BT’s purpose to atone. In Briony’s manner, ‘beginning at the beginning,’ and moving through obstacles toward the resolving denouement, BT can trace out the events that lead to her allegation with ‘an exercise in explanation [and] at times, a subtle excuse.‘[xxi] She presents Briony as both innocent and heavily responsible (‘if only she, Briony, had been less innocent, less stupid’); she is responding to Robbie’s wish for her to write a letter explaining ‘everything that led up to you saying you saw me by the lake.’[xxii] Although Robbie’s request is proved fictional, she does offer the full explanation, made possible through the linear recount. The use of steady linear allows for BT to pinpoint exact moments of her innocence and stupidity to the reader; it is the instances of broken lineation which accentuate her mistakes. McEwan and BT together present a ‘series of misreadings’, straying the novel away from a classical realist text.[xxiii] Aided by modernist moments of ‘”temporal prolepsis”’, such as the narrative anticipation in ‘within the half hour Briony would commit her crime’, BT flags through linear fissures the significance of the de-linearised events.[xxiv] Both the fountain scene and that in the library are repeated, once through Briony’s eyes, and once through BT’s adult revision. By presenting differing perspectives, BT spotlights instances of naivety, heralding to critical readers the arrival of the largest mistake for which the novel tries to atone.

For McEwan however, this broken lineation has a wider purpose: to manipulate the reader, as yet unaware that they are reading BT’s narrative. McEwan presents two sexually-charged scenes, so that the mature reader can easily recognise Briony’s naïve misreading. With the fountain scene, the real and sensual version of events is presented first, and Briony’s misunderstanding second. Whereas, with the library scene, Briony’s aggressive impression is encountered first, provoking the reader to use their new and superior knowledge and predict Briony’s misreading. The second description of the library scene may be just as aggressive (‘forcing back her head against the shelves’; ‘crushing her head against his chest’) however sensually so, reflecting Briony’s innocence in sexual matters, and ironic in just how close she was from the truth.[xxv] The realist lineation, with its moments of fracture, thus allows for the slow augmentation of reader knowingness, which heavily contributes to the shock of the coda reveal, and causes the acute tension between the assumed knowledge of the reader and their factual innocence. In the concluding coda, the reader discovers that they too had a suffered false sense of superior knowledge as Briony did, and in reality displayed her naivety.

Additional to the forewarning of misreading provided by the broken linearity, the linear narrative allows for specific clues to be presented to the reader, allowing them to structure their own level of innocence and knowingness, dependent on their observational engagement with the text. There are two levels of clues: those presenting Paul Marshall as rapist, and those portending the conceit of the coda. BT also presents the clues which criminalize Robbie in Briony’s eyes: the fountain scene with Robbie’s ‘command’ for Cecilia to undress, the explicit letter, and the library ‘attack’, coding him a ‘maniac’.[xxvi] However, these are explained away with BT’s presentation of Robbie’s adoration for Cecilia, captured in his confession of ‘three simple words’, of love, within the library.[xxvii] Thus, BT presents alternative signals which, to an active reader, portray Marshall as the perpetrator. His predatory behaviour is first signalled in his potential touch of Cecilia’s arm, which could also ‘have been a leaf.’[xxviii] Although a minute detail, the ambiguity of the action premediates the ambiguity of Marshall’s character. Later, whilst in the nursery with Lola and the twins, he ‘turn[s] his attention back’ to Lola, ‘back’ suggesting she is his primary focus.[xxix] She reminds him of his ‘favourite sister’, evocative of his earlier, arousing dream about his ‘young sisters’.[xxx] And Lola is titled a ‘Pre-Raphaelite princess’ which with her ‘ginger-hair[…]’ and ‘freckled […] fluorescent colouring’, evokes in her the image of the ‘flame-haired’ Elizabeth Siddel, the young and sensual Pre-Raphaelite muse for Dante Gabriel Rosseti.[xxxi] His predatory behaviour soon ignites, telling Lola softly and repeatedly to ‘bite’ the chocolate, whilst watching her curling tongue and shifting his legs as though aroused upon his chair.[xxxii] Emily hears Lola’s ‘abruptly smothered’ ‘squeal’ alone with Marshall, coinciding with the timing of the twin’s supposed attack on her, and the smothering is reincarnate in the rape scene, as her head is ‘pushed back’ upon the ground and her eyes covered.[xxxiii] And moreover, the scratch on his face mirrors that upon Lola, with her surprisingly severe injuries (‘rather shocking’) from the twins.[xxxiv] These suspicions are brought to climax when Marshall follows Lola out alone to look for the boys with a torchlight similar to that which alerts Briony to the rape.[xxxv] The narrator remarks that Leon is a poor judge of character, as everyone is a ‘good egg’ and incapable of scheming or lying; if the reader has been paying attention, Leon too achieves a misreading, and the clues are placed at steady intervals within the linear narrative to test a keen-eyed reader’s like-wise innocence.[xxxvi]

However, in order to keep the reader between innocence and knowingness, the removal of the boys at dinner serves as a narrative ploy to continue deception; the absence of the boys and their written anger towards Lola does corroborate with Marshall’s excuse for his injury—that he intervened in their fight with their sister.[xxxvii] Had the boys still been present, they may have disagreed with Marshall’s recount, but their absence breeds a tension around Marshall’s innocence—his injury could be a red herring. And there are other potential ruses in the text, such as Danny Hardman. Unlike Robbie, both Marshall and Hardman are addressed by their surname, thusly ‘at a remove, always under suspicion.’[xxxviii] With regards to Hardman, he is often caught ‘leering’, and ‘hanging around the children’, with a suspected interest in Lola.[xxxix] The rapist is also ‘familiar’ to Briony in shape and gait, supposedly someone she’d known ‘all [her] life’, and the Hardmans had been employed by her family since before she was born.[xl] Even Cecilia suspects Hardman as the rapist, asking Briony for evidence to ‘put his alibi in question’, so a reader may be drawn to the same conclusion. [xli] The narrative trickery engenders a tension between the innocence and knowingness of each individual reader, based upon their observational emphasis, and this underlying tone of a whodunit evades the entirety of the text, with its discordant readings, and the country house setting a classical detective motif—presenting a ‘closed circle of suspects’ for the reader to choose from.[xlii] The matter is somewhat put to rest with Briony’s decision, as self-appointed detective, that in marrying Marshall Lola married ‘her rapist’, the ‘truth’ forever ‘walled up within the mausoleum of their marriage.’[xliii] The morbid metaphor presents the legal inability for Lola to testify against her husband, but also the concrete strength of the institution to seal in the ‘truth’—even assuming it was Marshall, we must be content without factual closure. Upon reading Lola’s fate, the reader is encouraged to reflect upon the textual clues that lead to this conclusion, and confer internally and uneasily whether they were an active enough reader to predict the outcome, and whether they agree.

Furthermore, it is not only BT’s clues that spring out of the text. McEwan laces the entirety with subtle indications that the text is BT’s novel, and thus to some degree fabricated. The clues begin with the title: Atonement. The title suggests a clear purpose, but as the narrative is third-person, the reader can only speculate on which character wishes to atone for what and how, prior to the coda reveal that the text itself is the act of atonement. The epigraph is the second clue: the quote from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1817) invokes Miss Morland’s damning confusion between real life and fiction, which Briony will come to display in criminalising Robbie.[xliv] The allusion is furthered by the naming of the retired Tallis Household ‘Tilney’s Hotel’—a ‘sly tribute’ to signal the conceit.[xlv] The house itself is presented as a sham, with an ‘artificial lake’, and ‘barely forty years old’ but built in a ‘baronial Gothic’ style.[xlvi] The ‘archetypal location’ also signals the Country House novel, which traditionally uses the space of a large house and grounds to present ‘a group of diverse characters’ and unfolding ‘tensions’, ‘love affairs’ and ‘catastrophes.’[xlvii] True to the form of its predecessors, such as Jane Eyre (1847) and Brideshead Revisited (1945), Part One presents the tensions of misunderstanding, the love affair of Cecilia and Robbie, and the catastrophe of the rape and the wrong arrest. The Country House prologue, and the Country House setting, then premediate to a well-read reader what is to follow, presenting a ‘warning and a guide’ to how the reader should view the narrative.[xlviii]

And as with the Country House signals, further clues depend on the scholarly level of the reader. To a well-read and critical audience, Lola is also a signal of a strongly-constructed narrative, and not just an atoning account. Her name, and her description as ‘precocious and scheming’, dressed in ‘tokens of maturity’ and ‘in the guise of the adult she considered herself at heart to be’, corresponds her to Lolita, Humbert Humbert’s paedophilic obsession in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955).[xlix] She is a warning signal of both the rape of a minor, and the undertone of an unreliable narrator, both which come to fruition by the end of the text. Kathleen D’Angelo argues that through literary allusion McEwan ‘points a critical reader to solve the crime before it takes place’, asking for an excavation of both the text and literary history, emphasising the necessity for critical reading.[l] Thus McEwan’s literary references offer a scale of knowingness to the reader; their scholarly experience decides their place upon this, and those approaching the text through ‘the lens of literary history’ will stand in a position of higher knowledge.[li] As some clues will thus be ‘unavailable to a general reader’, McEwan engenders a tension even between his readers, pitting their levels of innocence and understanding against each other’s.[lii]

Aside from literary allusions, McEwan’s clues also appear through Briony’s musings on authorship. Upon the second page of the text, Briony self-identifies as ‘Briony Tallis the writer’, portraying her ambition to become a professional, and her theories on writing continue throughout, key clues toward her authorship, and the coda conceit.[liii]  She argues that ‘in a story you only had to wish, you only had to write it down and you could have the world’, being ‘under no obligation to the truth’.[liv] Instead she has an authorial desire to ‘have the world just so’ and a ‘passion for secrets’, including ‘fool’s gold’—an indicator that adult Briony’s, BT’s, narrative promises are false.[lv] An observant reader can begin to identify Briony’s narrative theory within the text itself: the secret she places at the centre of the narrative, the ‘obscured truth’, becomes a ‘key strategy’ of her authority, to lure in the reader and coerce their understanding of the truth.[lvi] She claims a story is finished only when ‘all fates [are] resolved and the whole matter sealed off at both ends’, which her reunion of the lovers provides.[lvii] She even explicitly states that if the war were to keep Robbie and Cecilia permanently estranged, the only solution would be ‘for the past never to have happened’, and thus when this becomes the outcome, she erases their past deaths.[lviii] The novel resembles her childhood dolls house and farmyard, everything ‘neatly corralled’ into formulated places.[lix] Briony’s musings foretell Atonement’s narrative techniques; she considers how she could write about the fountain episode ‘three times over’ from three ‘different minds.’[lx] And the text indeed presents two of these perspectives, and all three including Two Figures by a Fountain. The work itself reflects the fiction Briony aspired to write, and so to the critical reader, the coda should come as a lesser surprise.

In fact, Two Figures by a Fountain becomes an ultimate indication of the origin of the text through Connolly’s rejection letter to Briony, and it’s ‘battery of suggestions’ for revisions.[lxi] Briony is advised to change the ‘Ming’ vase to one less fragile, and in Atonement we are presented with ‘Meissen porcelain’.[lxii] She is advised to remove the vase from the young girl’s view of the scene to increase her misjudgement, and in Atonement Briony does not see the porcelain at all.[lxiii] Connolly then prompts Briony to consider how her mistake might ‘affect the lives of the two adults’, providing a ‘backbone’ to the story, and to assist this, she is advised to include ‘the flavour’ of her protagonist’s juvenilia to widen the text, just as Atonement begins with The Trials of Arabella.[lxiv] The play not only presents a background for the protagonist, such as Connolly desired, but also a miniaturisation of Atonement’s morality. The Trials of Arabella was designed to inspire ‘terror, relief and instruction, in that order’, and these are respectively presented in Atonement, reflective of Briony taking pleasure in the miniature. [lxv]  The reader is presented with the terror of the rape and the war, a relief in the lover’s reunion, and instruction by BT’s coda, engineered by McEwan to instruct the reader on active participation, and a foolish trust in an unreliable narrator.[lxvi] McEwan’s insertion of narrative and literary clues have an underlying purpose to disturb the comfort of the reader, suggesting all is not as clear cut as with a classical realist text.

Consequently then, when realising before or after the coda that the novel is BT’s fictionalised version of events, the reader is asked to consider distrusting its entirety, perhaps simply a revised expansion of Two Figures by a Fountain, and ‘nothing more than a complex but empty secret, designed to play’ with the reader.[lxvii] However, in the spirit of the title, we are asked to trust in BT’s intentions, as it was her duty ‘to disguise nothing […] a matter of historical record’.[lxviii] Huw Marsh argues that BT’s atonement is ‘so firmly embedded’ that neither the metanarrative reveal nor her admission of invention can defile her final version of the text.[lxix] However here lies further tension for the reader, coerced to consider how far they are able to trust in BT and McEwan, who continually shatter the novel’s conviction. The reader is forced to examine their response, and consider believing an author who is herself fictional. McEwan’s ‘self-conscious narrative’ thus reasserts an ‘ethical complex’ between author and reader, not only dramatising misreading, and warning readers against it, but also inducing readers to misread themselves.[lxx] McEwan exploits this tension to engender a feeling of unease, of discomfort, which pours out from the events within the text. It is a shared and active experience for both the characters and the reader.

And to further add to this tension of coercion and misunderstanding, the novel is riddled with letters. McEwan’s use of missives heralds more than the correct form of communication for a war-time text. As previously discussed, Atonement signals a nineteenth-century heritage, and the device of the mislaid letter is reflective of this, evoking Edgar Allan Poe’s prominent Purloined Letter (1844), and crucially placing the reader in a place of superior knowledge and supposed omniscience. As reader we first see Robbie drafting two letters: the first, a formal apology for his behaviour, hinting his foolishness to be rooted in fancy; the second, an anatomical outburst of desire.[lxxi] Then, we see him insert a letter into an envelope, and pass it on to Briony.[lxxii] The envelope is key to a reader’s knowingness; the envelope confirms Briony’s Purloined Letter-like ‘theft’ before the narrative does, and to quickly deviate, in the context of Jacques Lacan’s ‘”Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter’”’, this signifies Briony’s unconscious desire to amass order upon chaos, which her novel attempts.[lxxiii] To return, when Briony hands Cecilia the letter, it is ‘a piece of paper folded twice’, and in case a reader is still innocent to the envelope omission, Cecilia asks if there wasn’t one.[lxxiv] Robbie’s realization that he has given the wrong version of the letter is also a test in reader observation: it is delayed. Between Robbie ‘seized by horror’ and the confirmation that ‘the typed page’ was ‘folded into the envelope’ there are ten lines.[lxxv] These lines are a space for reader speculation, and thus for tension to build around the reason for Robbie’s horror. And Briony’s response to reading the erroneous letter highlights the reader’s superior position of knowledge. Having been unable to witness the writing of the letter, in the context of the genial edition, Briony reads it as predatory and ‘threaten[ing]’, evoking Poe’s text with the misunderstanding of compromising content- whereas the reader is in full knowledge of Robbie’s warm intentions.[lxxvi]

And yet McEwan cannot resist again manipulating the reader: Briony’s linguistic obsession over ‘the word’, so shocking to her thirteen-year-old self, draws heavy attention to its spelling, through her childish rhymes like ‘the smallest pig in the litter’, a runt.’[lxxvii] Thus, when the twins are later overhead discussing a letter which includes the letter ‘u’ and belongs within ‘the envelope’, the reader employs their knowledge, and assumes the twins have Robbie’s missive.[lxxviii] Therefore, when a letter is discovered on Jackson’s seat the reader is startled alongside Robbie, and shocked and relieved to discover an alternative. With letters, McEwan plays with the reader’s knowledge and innocence, once again proving his coercion.

And this is not the only circumstance where a letter allows McEwan to control a reader’s knowingness. As the text progresses, Robbie and Cecilia communicate via letters, and the reader is permitted the intimacy of reading these as though over the shoulder of the writer or recipient. Cecilia’s letter to Robbie revealing an estrangement from her family is presented as what ‘she wrote in reply’, placing the reader over Cecilia’s writing desk.[lxxix] This sensation is furthered in the description of the letters between the lovers during Robbie’s time in prison.  Monitored by his psychiatrist, diagnosed as ‘morbidly over-sexed’, even letters containing a ‘timid expression of affection’ were confiscated, and so their letters had to use ‘codes’.[lxxx] However, the reader is given the solution to these codes, entrusted with omniscience: they used characters from literature to profess their love, ‘happy or tragic couples’ such as ‘Venus and Adonis’ as symbols for their pining.[lxxxi] And so, the transparent narration of the letters creates, for that moment, an omniscient reader, especially as BT later confirms she had access to their real correspondence, now ‘in the archives of the War Museum’.[lxxxii] Even BT’s coda cannot reduce the reality of the letters, and thus this is the single sustained knowingness the reader holds on to. McEwan could too have taken this away, but in the spirit of BT’s atonement, he lets them exist as reality, and as readers we are grateful, briefly permitted the pedestal Briony feels entitled to: ‘it was wrong to open people’s letters, but it was right, it was essential, for her to know everything.’[lxxxiii] The novel compares communication between its characters with the communication between the author and reader: the author, or writer of the letter, controls what the reader, or recipient, learns.[lxxxiv]

In sum, Atonement’s form and narrative tactics transmit a tension between innocence and knowingness to the reader, at once under the illusion of knowledge, and at the same time variably innocent to the narrative ploys revealed in the close. The text presents both BT’s and McEwan’s authorial abilities to manipulate the reader, and the reader’s ability to be influenced; McEwan critiques their lethargy, whilst BT is grateful for the space it gives her to atone, both exploring the ‘ethics of storytelling’.[lxxxv] The tension, engendered by their dual coercion of the reader in and out of innocence, is exploited to generate true emotion; the shock reveal of the lover’s death post-reunion is a brutal betrayal of authorial obligation, but it is BT’s betrayal, McEwan’s responsibility removed through her authorship.  And his choice removal continues to layer the tension, as the realisation that we are reading the final draft of Two Figures by a Fountain further shatters the credibility of the text; a perpetual ambiguity of intention resides. And thus exists, between reader and author, the form-induced tension of this ‘masterpiece’.[lxxxvi]


[i] I. McEwan, Atonement (London: Vintage, 2002) p. 349

[ii] McEwan, p. 351

[iii] McEwan, p. 18

[iv] B. Finney, ‘Briony’s Stand Against Oblivion: The Making of Fiction in Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Winter 2004) 68-82 (pp. 74-75)

[v] McEwan, p. 3

[vi] McEwan, p. 3, my emphasis

[vii] McEwan, p. 18

[viii] S. Albers, T. Caeners, ‘The Poetics and Aesthetics of Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, English Studies, Vo. 90, No. 6 (December 2009) 707-720 (p. 707); J. Ellam, Ian McEwan’s Atonement (London: Continuum, 2009) p. 41

[ix] McEwan, pp. 66, 63, 65

[x] McEwan, p. 63

[xi] Ellam, p. 17; H. Marsh, ‘Narrative unreliability and metarepresentation in Ian McEwan’s Atonement; or, why Robbie might be guilty and why nobody seems to notice’, Textual Practice (January 2017) 1-19 (p. 6-7)

[xii] Marsh, p. 11

[xiii] McEwan, p. 371

[xiv] Finney, p. 69

[xv] Albers, Caeners, p. 707; Marsh, p. 8

[xvi] Ellam, p. 17; Albers, Caeners, p. 207; Finney, p. 70

[xvii] Finney, p. 77

[xviii] McEwan, p. 181

[xix] Albers, Caeners, p. 707

[xx] McEwan, p. 312

[xxi] McEwan, p. 15; Ellam, p. 24

[xxii] McEwan, pp. 168, 345

[xxiii] K. D’Angelo, ‘”To Make a Novel”: The Construction of a Critical Readership in Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, Studies in the Novel, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Spring 2009) 88-105 (p. 95)

[xxiv] Finney, p. 75; McEwan, p. 156

[xxv] McEwan, p. 135

[xxvi] McEwan, p. 38, 123, 168

[xxvii] McEwan, p. 137

[xxviii] McEwan, p. 54

[xxix] McEwan, p. 60

[xxx] McEwan, pp. 60-61

[xxxi] McEwan, pp. 9-10; J. Watt, ‘Flaming libertines: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his muses’, The Telegraph <> [accessed 03 April 2017]

[xxxii] McEwan, p. 62

[xxxiii] McEwan, p. 69, 167

[xxxiv] McEwan, pp. 107, 117-118, 146

[xxxv] McEwan pp. 144, 160

[xxxvi] Mc Ewan, p. 107

[xxxvii] McEwan, p. 141

[xxxviii] Marsh, p. 8

[xxxix] McEwan, pp. 89, 48

[xl] McEwan, pp. 169, 167, 87-88

[xli] McEwan, p. 345

[xlii] Marsh, p. 5; H. Pyrhönen, ‘Purloined Letters in Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, Mosaic, Vol. 45, No. 4 (December 2012) 103-118 (p. 104)

[xliii] McEwan, pp. 324-325; Pyrhönen, p. 104

[xliv] McEwan, epigraph, p. 363; Finney, pp. 69-70

[xlv] Finney, p. 70

[xlvi] McEwan, p. 19

[xlvii] B. Morrison, ‘The country house and the English novel’, The Guardian <> [accessed 03 April 2017]; R. Robinson, ‘The Modernism of Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, MFS, Vol, 56, No. 3 (Fall 2003) 473-495 (p. 488)

[xlviii] Finney, p. 70

[xlix] McEwan, pp. 65, 34; D’Angelo, p. 95

[l] D’Angelo, p. 95

[li] D’Angelo, p. 95

[lii] D’Angelo, p. 95

[liii] McEwan, p. 4

[liv] McEwan, pp. 37, 280

[lv] McEwan, pp. 4-5; P. Mathews, ‘The Impression of a Deeper Darkness: Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, ESC, Vol. 32, No. 1 (March 2006) 147-160 (p. 149)

[lvi] Mathews, pp, 148, 151

[lvii] McEwan, p. 6

[lviii] McEwan, p. 288

[lix] McEwan, p. 5

[lx] McEwan, p. 40

[lxi] Mathews, p. 158

[lxii] McEwan, pp. 313, 23

[lxiii] McEwan, pp. 38-39

[lxiv] McEwan, pp. 313-314

[lxv] McEwan, pp. 7-8

[lxvi] McEwan, pp. 7-8

[lxvii] Mathews, p. 158

[lxviii] McEwan, p. 369

[lxix] Marsh, pp. 14, 5

[lxx] D. O’Hara, ‘Briony’s Being-For: Metafictional Narrative Ethics in Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, Critique, Vol. 52, No. 1 (2011) 74-100 (abstract); M. Jacobi, ‘Who Killed Robbie and Cecilia? Reading and Misreading Ian McEwan’s Atonement’, Critique, Vol. 52, No.1 (2011) 55-73 (abstract)

[lxxi] McEwan, p. 85-86

[lxxii] McEwan, pp. 90, 94

[lxxiii] Pyrhönen, pp. 104, 112

[lxxiv] McEwan, pp. 111-112

[lxxv] McEwan, p. 94

[lxxvi] McEwan, p. 114

[lxxvii] McEwan, p. 114

[lxxviii] McEwan, p. 122

[lxxix] McEwan, p. 209

[lxxx] McEwan, p. 204

[lxxxi] McEwan, p. 204

[lxxxii] McEwan, p. 371

[lxxxiii] McEwan, p. 113

[lxxxiv] Pyrhönen, p. 104

[lxxxv] Marsh, p. 9

[lxxxvi] Evening Standard review, McEwan, back cover

Summer Selections is a FalWriting series bringing you a variety of writing produced this academic year by Falmouth students. It's a vibrant and diverse selection of work covering text forms from experimental poetry to forensic literary analysis, from gothic short stories to critical dissertations. This year the selection is guest edited by third year student Jess Hawes.