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Judd AndrewsTHEO 215WojdaShort Essay 202/11/08Self-Atonement; the lack thereofIn Ian McEwan’s novel, Atonement, Briony, our recently discovered narrator, closes the story by saying, “No atonement for God, or novelists, even if they are atheists.” It seems a simple enough claim that there is no atonement for God; after all, who would he (or she) have to atone to?By the very definition of atonement- forgiveness and reconciliation with God- His atonement would become self-reconciliation and therefore completely different than atonement in its traditional sense. More importantly however, for novelists: why is it that for them there is also “no atonement . . . even if they are atheists?” The nature of this claim is clearly not based on the necessity of faith, for it is not belief that damns these people from atonement; rather, it is their position of power in duplicating God’s role. Novelists’ absolute power in the creation of their stories and the outcomes of their characters mirrors God’s omnipotence.