How does the author portray the meeting between Briony, Cecilia, and Robbie? What narrative choices and details are included, and what is left unsaid? What are the effects of these choices?

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The meeting between Briony, Cecilia, and Robbie is portrayed as an opportunity for Briony to receive a pardon from her sister and Robbie. Cecilia and Robbie leave the harsh words Briony deserves unsaid, which suggests that they would rather spend their limited time together thinking and expressing feelings that are only positive and loving. To tell Briony the emotional truth about what her actions caused would only waste precious time and energy. One detail that is particularly poignant is contained in Cecilia's gentle command to Robbie to "come back" when a bad memory appears to interrupt the meeting. Cecilia used to say the exact same thing to Briony when Briony was having a scary dream, but this time, she is nurturing Robbie, not her sister, who no longer deserves such care and affection. The effects of the these choices on the reader make for an intense reading experience; there is an element of suspense as the reader wonders whether or not Briony will get what she deserves, as well as witnesses a deeply emotional connection between Cecilia and Robbie. Altogether, the effect of this meeting intensifies the unfairness of Briony's actions as well as the reader's understanding of how Briony's lie impacted her sister and Robbie.

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