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Overall,
Briony attempts to reveal Robbie’s true meaning behind the letter he wrote,
however, the scenes leading up to it: Briony’s misunderstanding of the word and
the sexual assault played out by another guest, led to Briony accusing Robbie
of rape and condemning him to prison, ruining his life. This scene ties in with
the theme of Briony’s misperception of events during Part One. She is too young
to fully understand the adult world, which she desperately wants to become a
part of in order to seem older and more mature than she really is. The scenes
that she misunderstands, the fountain scene, the letter she reads, the library
scene, and eventually the rape of Lola, all lead to her not being able to
correctly identify her emotions and causing her to incorrectly accuse Robbie of
being the aggressor. The previous four scenes mentioned, are all incidents that
are not fully experienced; during the fountain scene, Briony can see Cecilia
and Robbie, but she cannot hear them. Briony reads word “cunt” in the letter,
but she does not genuinely understand its meaning. Briony walks in and sees
Robbie and Cecilia having sex in the library, but no one else in the party
mentions it and it is like it did not happen. The gravest scene of all, Briony hears
Lola being raped, but she cannot see who it is. All of this is the process of
Briony maturing, which feeds into the theme of her perception of events. 

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