Why did Briony want to keep Robbie and Cecilia apart?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Briony Tallis is a young girl whose lie prevents her older sister Cecilia and childhood friend Robbie from ever fully pursuing their burgeoning romance.

Briony is a prolific writer, even as a child, and enjoys making up stories because this gives her a sense of control and order. Like any child, Briony has a naive understanding of the world and has perhaps-false notions of the way things are. When she reads the vulgar, sexual language in Robbie’s letter to Cecilia and then walks in on their sexual...

(The entire section contains 282 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team