Sunday, February 17, 2008

Atonement - Ch. 8

My favorite chapter so far. We have the life of Robbie Turner here, who has fantastically just discovered sex. Kind of. Apparently he had not previously had the warm feelings Cecilia was experiencing. That is, until he saw her nearly naked. That'll change most boys' minds.

After his strange fountain encounter with Cee, he is basically reduced to a twittering teen-aged girl, all "But what did she mean when she blah blah blah?!?!" and then imagines a million scenarios, particularly the ones that mean she reciprocates his feelings (which she does), but then crushes them, convinced he's wrong (which he is not) because he's such a poor slob (well, he has a point there).

My most favoritest part is, of course, the romantic notion that love is torturous, but a person in love is a masochist who must be near their lover no matter how much pain it causes. The more the better. Yeah, I am a fan of this belief. Particularly in fiction, love should be unbearable, and should eat its victims from the inside out until all that is left is an empty shell of a person with no senses except the instinct to chase their lover and survive. That always makes the best stories.

So the chapter closes with a vital event for two characters. Briony is released from her bridge-imprisonment by Robbie asking her to deliver his letter to Cecilia (apparently Briony finds this to be sufficiently important) and then Robbie realizing that he enveloped the wrong letter. Instead of sending the carefully-worded, hand-written letter, he's sent the vulgar, honest, typed letter that expresses his desire to do dirty, dirty things to Cecilia. His fixation with Freud could not be more ironic or humorous at this moment. While I think Cee wants the same things, I suspect she won't want to get them typed in a letter delivered by her young sister.

Some sort of excitement and horror is about to ensue. I'm excited. Robbie is a dead man.

No comments: