Atonement

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Briony and Cecilia’s father, and the husband of Emily Tallis. Mr. Tallis is an absent parent because his work as a high-ranking government bureaucrat consumes most of his time, particularly during the tensions leading up to World War II. Mr. Tallis appears to be a kind, principled man—he funds Robbie Turner’s education and supports his mother, Grace, who works as a housecleaner at the Tallis estate—but he abruptly ends his aid to Robbie when the boy is falsely blamed for raping Lola.

Jack Tallis Quotes in Atonement

The Atonement quotes below are all either spoken by Jack Tallis or refer to Jack Tallis. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of Atonement published in 2003.
Part 1, Chapter 12 Quotes

She liked [Robbie] well enough, and was pleased for Grace Turner that he had turned out to be bright. But really, he was a hobby of Jack’s, living proof of some leveling principle he had pursued through the years. When he spoke about Robbie, which wasn’t often, it was with a touch of self-righteous vindication.

Related Characters: Robbie Turner, Emily Tallis, Jack Tallis
Page Number: 142
Explanation and Analysis:

Emily is in her room musing on various things as usual, rather than going out and helping to look for the twins. Her thoughts turn here to Robbie, whom Emily considers in a distanced, even cold way, even though he is such a part of the fabric of the family household. Emily contrasts her own views to that of her husband's, but neither position ends up seeming very generous. Of course, Jack's "principle" of equality is seen through Emily's eyes, so he may be more earnest than she gives him credit for, but if Robbie is no more than a "hobby" for him, that suggests that Jack still thinks of him as lesser than other people of his own class, able to be molded and tinkered with like an object. 

Emily, in turn, is frank about failing to care for or about Robbie - for her, class relations should remain as they are. But she also thinks about Robbie instrumentally, using him largely as a means by which to critique her husband and find more things to complain about him. 

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Jack Tallis Character Timeline in Atonement

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Tallis appears in Atonement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 8
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Robbie sits before his typewriter, a gift from Jack Tallis, and surveys the schoolbooks scattered across his desk. He gazes at a photo of... (full context)
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...Grace. Grace was taken on as the Tallises’ cleaning lady after Ernest abandoned her, because Jack Tallis could not bear to turn her and six-year-old Robbie away. Grace curried favor with... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 12
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...her scene-stealing sister Hermione. She wonders if she should hold off calling the constable, since Jack will call soon to apologize for his absence. She appears to suspect that his nights... (full context)
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...His chocolate business will make him enormously rich. After Emily muses for another half hour, Jack calls. Emily tells him of Robbie’s manic look at the table and asks if they... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 14
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...library where she saw Robbie committing his “attack” on Cecilia. Later on, news arrives that Jack’s car has broken down and he will not make it home in time. As everyone... (full context)
Part 2
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Lost Innocence Theme Icon
The Unchangeable Past Theme Icon
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...estrangement from her family: since Robbie’s sentencing in 1935, she has not spoken to Emily, Jack, Leon, or Briony. She corresponds with Robbie through Grace, who has moved off the Tallises’... (full context)
Part 3
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A letter from Briony’s father reveals that Paul and Lola are to be married the following week. Briony processes this... (full context)