Atonement

Compare the ways in which the authors of two texts (Lantana and Atonement) use minor characters to emphasise ideas. 12th Grade

Ray Lawrence’s film Lantana and Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement share several key ideas that can be conveyed to the audience in similar ways. The guilt of betrayal, differences in class and the idea of love are all explored in depth by both author and director. Through the use of contrasting actions of characters, the depiction of the key characters is deployed to explore these themes, as are powerful symbols - often paired to foreshadow a crime or guilt.

Lawrence utilises contrast between the actions and interactions of characters to show past the facades and into the true connection of love - or lack of. Leon and Sonja Zat give the illusion of being a happily married couple along with their children as they attend dance classes together and continue to sleep together despite the underlying issues of disloyalty, miscommunication and lack of trust. Lawrence contrasts this to the relatively minor characters of Nik and Paula. While the couple are poor, shown by the setting they live in; a run down, outer suburban home. They have two young children and have only a single income coming from Paula. Despite everything going seemingly wrong in their lives, they remain loyal and trusting of each other, “‘How do you know [he didn’t commit...

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