For centuries, The Bard’s plays have been beguiling us with shadings of emotion and countless twists of fate. The bravery of his heroes is inspiring, and the courage of his heroines is touching.
Throughout the period of three years, we follow the main character from his childhood years, from his decision to take up painting as a profession to breaking free from traditional Japanese art and producing propaganda work. Like Stevens from The Remains of the Day”, Ono is not a reliable narrator. We are a given only pieces of a puzzle and only if we read between the lines are we on the right path to understand Ono as a man who “wanted so badly to make a grand contribution”, a man who had ambition to produce “work that will be a significant contribution to the people of (our) nation”.
This is a heart-rending story of big expectations, secret hopes and immense disappointments. Esther Greenwood, Plath’s invented persona, feels trapped inside the dreary world that surrounds her. It is as if she’s living under a bell jar. On her road from adolescence to adulthood, she is lost since she has no hand to guide her. Poetry may be the only thing that could protect her from her suicidal tendencies. Undoubtedly, Plath’s persona is so realistic and relatable that the readers cannot help but empathize with her.
I was engrossed in this book from the beginning until the end. On the wings of this delightful piece of prose, I was transported into the pre-war England and the world of betrayal and guilt, while at the same time I was captivated by a passionate and abiding love between two young lovers. Consisting of four parts, the novel Atonement gives us a moving portrayal of the main characters through their stream of consciousness.