Atonement

No Atonement for Me 12th Grade

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High”-Psalms 82:6

It is an impossible task for an author not to project his or her own private biases onto a page. Theistic writers such as J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were unable to divorce their faith from their respective writings. Ian McEwan, on the other hand, is found at the opposite end of the spectrum, unable to divorce his lack of faith from his writing. These private biases do not detract from the writings of these authors, but add an interesting perspective to each of their works. Tolkien was able to layer his work with biblical symbolism as well as incorporate many biblical themes. Lewis employed biblical allegory, having his characters and plot reflect specific events that occurred in the scriptures. In the case of McEwan's Atonement, McEwan's atheism enabled his work to challenge a well-established theme in writing; the belief that man has no business playing God. McEwan, utilizing scriptural references and biblical allegory, makes several subliminal comparisons that put man an on equal footing with God.

McEwan is first faced with a curious task: how can he challenge a literary notion that has been held for centuries on end? Literary works...

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