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  • 1. An Act of Kindness: Atonement By: Teresa Yuh-yi 談玉儀 談玉儀
  • 2. Table of Contents
    • The novel Atonement
    • The Film Atonement
      • Background
      • The Director: Joe Wright
      • Setting
      • Plot Chart
      • Character Introduction
      • 12 Scenes and Assigned Questions
      • Etymology: “Atonement”
      • Theme
  • 3. Novel: Atonement
    • Author Ian McEwan
    • Country England
    • Language English
    • Publisher Jonathan Cape
    • Publication date 2001
    • Media type Print (Hardcover)
    • Pages 371 pp
  • 4. The 2007 Film : Atonement 談玉儀
  • 5. Background: Atonement Wikipedia
    • Atonement is a 2007 film adaptation of Ian McEwan 's critically acclaimed novel of the same name , directed by Joe Wright , and based on a screenplay by Christopher Hampton .
    • Atonement opened the 64th Venice International Film Festival , making Wright, at the age of 35, the youngest director ever to open the event.
    • The film won an Oscar for the Best Original Score at the 80th Academy Awards .
  • 6. Setting
      • Atonement begins on a hot summer day in 1935, in an English countryside setting
      • Then passing WWII
      • To the contemporary society
  • 7. Joe Wright-Biography 1 source: http://
    • Wright was born in London, where his parents founded the Little Angel Theater , a puppet theatre in Islington.
    • On the strength of his paintings and Super 8 films, he gained admittance to an art school where he studied fine art and film .
    • In his last year, he received a scholarship to make a short film for the BBC that won some awards.
  • 8. Joe Wright-Biography 2 source: http://
    • In 2005 he made the transition to feature films with the critically acclaimed Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley.
      • On a personal note, he's currently dating Rosamund Pike, who co-starred in this film.
    • Wright’s next feature is an adaptation Booker Prize winner Ian McEwan's novel Atonement (film) which was released in 2007.
  • 9. Joe Wright-Personal Quotes source:
    • " Pride [and Prejudice] is my first film with a happy ending. Before, I naively thought they were a cop-out (excuse), but now I've come to believe that happy endings and wish fulfillment are an incredibly important part of our cultural life."
    • “ Every time I make a film, I feel it gives me the chance to learn something new . I've been lucky over the past few years. Things have just happened for me.”
  • 10. Plot Chart 談玉儀
  • 11. Briony Tallis in her 11 and 13
    • “ an intense-looking ” young girl of 13 with “a willful temperament” (Christopher Hampton’s script)
    • A young foolish girl “who sees something from her nursery window which she doesn’t understand, but she thinks she does.”
  • 12. Briony Tallis in her 18
    • A nurse who gives up a chance to become a Cambridge student
    • A young girl who plays a baptized nursing job to cleanse her guilt for causing some damage to her sister Cecilia and her lover Robbie
  • 13. Briony Tallis in her 77
    • An old female writer in her 70s who writes her final novel Atonement to witness her foolish jealousy in her youth.
    • She wants to use her advantage of being a writer to compensate her guilt by writing a novel.
  • 14. Robbie Turner
    • The son of housekeeper who works for the Tallis
    • His school fees are currently paid by Cecilia's father—the Old Man
    • Briony has a crush on Robbie
  • 15. Cecilia Tallis
    • A beautiful, restless-looking girl of 23, who is making an attempt to break up with her family just for staying with her boy-friend Robbie who is accused with raping
    • Educated in the literature department of Cambridge University
  • 16. Twins: Jackson and Pierrot
    • The young twins who are Briony's cousins and come with their elder sister Lola to stay with the Tallis's after this parents divorce.
  • 17. Lola and Marshall
    • Paul Marshall - Friend of Leon's, who rapes Lola and some years later marries her.
    • Lola – fifteen-year- old girl who is Briony's cousin and comes to stay with the Tallis's after her parents divorce.
  • 18. Nettle, Mace and Robbie
    • Robbie's companions during the Dunkirk evacuation.
  • 19. Betty
    • Betty- The Tallis' main servant, described as "wretched" in personality in the novel
    • She is Robbie’s mother whose husband dumped them 20 years ago.
  • 20. Assigned Questions Scene 1
    • What are functions of “the doll’s house ”?
    • How is the play The Trials of Arabella connected to the plot of the film?
      • "the complications of love"
    • Can you find the connection(s) between Cecilia and Richardson’s Clarissa in Clarissa ?
    • Find differences between a play and novel .
  • 21. Assigned Questions Scene 2: The Fountain
    • Explain the relationship between Robbie and Cecilia
      • Position
      • Gender
    • What does the fountain represent?
      • water
      • An almost naked woman
    • Why does the director shoot 2 clippings of the fountain scenes, separately form perspectives of Cecilia and Briony ?
  • 22. Assigned Questions Scene 3: Loa glances flirtatiously at Marshall
    • How does William Shakespeare’s Hamlet symbolize in this scene?
      • “ To be or not to be”
    • Try to describe the relationship between Lola and Marshall .
    • How is a theme of war revealed in this scene?
  • 23. Assigned Questions Scene 4: Robbie and Cecilia Missing Each Other
    • What is your impression with a series of jump cuts presented in this scene?
    • What is a function of Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body ?
    • Why does Robbie replay the high notes of the climax duet of Act 1 of the opera La Boheme ?
  • 24. Assigned Questions Scene 5: A Letter without an Envelope
    • Why is Robbie’s letter without an envelope when delivering in Cecilia’s hand?
    • Why does Cecilia blush while reading Robbie’s letter?
    • Does Briony see the letter before handing it to her sister Cecilia?
    • Why does Marshall have a faint scratch on his right check?
  • 25. Assigned Questions Scene 6: An Unknown Sex Maniac
    • Does Lola not recognize the rapist?
    • Does Briony really see the rapist? Why is she so sure that the rapist is Robbie?
    • What does the inspector’s question “You know it was him, or you saw him?” suggest?
  • 26. Assigned Questions Scene 7: Get-Together
    • Why is Robbie hesitated to see Cecilia after three and a half years?
    • What does a photography of the cottage represent?
    • Why does Cecilia break up with her family? And how about her situation now?
  • 27. Assigned Questions Scene 8 Montague Sequences
    • Is it a vision of imagination that Robbie sees his mother washing his feet?
    • Some montage sequences are revealed in Robbie’s mind before he dies. Please explain the meaning(s) for those sequences, including:
      • the vase
      • The ink from the page
      • Dunkirk
      • Cecilia in her green evening gown
  • 28. Assigned Questions Scene 9-10: An Act of Kindness
    • Why does Briony insist that Atonement is her first and last novel? What does the title name suggest? (scene 9)
    • Compare Atonement ’s ending and the things that happens in the real world? And explain Briony’s authorial intention.(scene 10)
  • 29. Etymology: “Atonement” 1
    • the word “atonement” derives from an Anglo-Saxon hybrid of the words “at” and “onement”
    • which rose to prominence in the theological vernacular courtesy of William Tyndale.
    • When Tyndale was writing the English Bible in 1526, he was looking for a word that would convey a more subtle theological nuance that the word “reconciliation” so as to also comprise the ideas of God’s forgiveness and propitiation ( 補償 ; 贖罪 )
    • Amid this search, the word “ atonement ” was born and has remained an integral component of theological ( 神學的 ) language and thought.
  • 30. Theme
    • The theme of guilt, shame and anger
    • Tackling the gap of human incomprehension ( 無法理解 ) and the novelistic project to bridge that gap.
    • The theme of war and brutality of death
  • 31. Bibliography and Websites Reference
    • Atonement . DVD. Dir. Joe Wright. Perf. Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. Universal Studios, 2007.
    • The word “Atonement”
    • Wikipedia
    • Joe Wright
      • http://
    • Atonement script (written by Christopher Hampton)
      • http://
  • 32. An Act of Kindness: Atonement By: Teresa Yuh-yi 談玉儀 (2010) 談玉儀