Sample Essay

Both Atonement and The Things They Carried deal in part with the way an author uses fiction to deal with reality. Compare and contrast the reasons that Briony and Tim have for reshaping reality with fiction.

In the novel, “Atonement” the author Ian McEwan tells the story of Briony Tallis and the night where her mistake irreparably changed the lives of her sister Cecilia and her childhood friend Robbie Turner (McEwan, 2002).  “While The Things They Carried” is a collection of stories written by celebrated author Tim O’ Brien who chronicles the experiences of Alpha Company during time periods before, during and after the Vietnam War (Brien, 1998). While the stories themselves are two different tales, written in two completely differing styles, with two completely differing focuses. Both stories however, do focus upon the horrors of war as a tool which has a monumental effect on the lives of their characters. It is while exploring these characters that the authors choose to use the protagonists Briony and Tim, as an escape from reality by altering it through their fiction.

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