Atonement

A Comparison of Atonement and Lantana 12th Grade

Through their respective texts, Atonement and Lantana, authors Ian McEwan and Ray Lawrence expertly convey the ideas of betrayal, atonement, loss and class. Within Atonement, McEwan employs stylistic features repetition, motif, symbolism and characterisation to explore the idea of betraying a loved one, the effort required to atone for this transgression, and the influence of class in pre-war British society. Contrastingly, Lawrence utilises mise en scene, soundtrack, camera shots and dialogue within Lantana to express his concerns regarding not only the infidelity and betrayal in contemporary urban life, and the importance of redeeming oneself, but the influence of socioeconomic status on the attainment of happiness.

Within Atonement, McEwan portrays the idea of betrayal through the technique of repetition. childish protagonist Briony believes Robbie is the rapist, and frequently repeats Yes I saw him. I saw him, ultimately betraying her family friend, and her sister Cecelia. Through repetition, McEwan conveys the intensity of Briony’s belief, and the vast extent of her betrayal, as she never considers the possibility of false understandings. Contrastingly, Lawrence conveys betrayal through John and Valerie’s relationship, in...

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