Atonement

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Amo Bars Symbol Icon
Amo Bars are the candy manufactured by Paul Marshall’s family company, distributed to soldiers in World War II. Their presence on the battlefield acts as a reminder of Marshall’s power and influence, and demonstrates that even wartime cannot separate Robbie from the misfortunes he suffered because of Paul’s misconduct, and the way that class protects the rich while throwing the poor into the face of death.

Amo Bars Quotes in Atonement

The Atonement quotes below all refer to the symbol of Amo Bars. 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:
Perspective Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of Atonement published in 2003.
Part 1, Chapter 5 Quotes

[The twins] watched [Lola’s] tongue turn green as it curled around the edges of the candy casing. Paul Marshall sat back in the armchair, watching her closely over the steeple he made with his hands in front of his face. He crossed and uncrossed his legs. Then he took a deep breath. ‘Bite it,’ he said softly. ‘You’ve got to bite it.’ It cracked loudly as it yielded to her unblemished incisors, and there was revealed the white edge of the sugar shell, and the dark chocolate beneath it.

Related Characters: Paul Marshall (speaker), Lola Quincy , Pierrot and Jackson Quincey
Related Symbols: Amo Bars
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

Paul Marshall has given Lola an Amo bar, the candy bars that are the source of his family's fortune. Here, we are meant to be struck by the attraction that Paul evidently feels towards Lola. This attraction has undeniably sexual overtones, rather than being an innocent friendship or flirtation (although Lola's innocence - "her unblemished incisors" - is contrasted to the lustful, domineering Paul). But what makes his attitude especially uncomfortable is the position of power that he holds over both Lola and the Quincey boys. Paul is confident and self-assured: he comes from money and power and handles both with ease. These attributes have given him a sense that he can do what he'd like and doesn't need to monitor his own behavior towards other people - particularly women or those from a lower social class.

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Amo Bars Symbol Timeline in Atonement

The timeline below shows where the symbol Amo Bars appears in Atonement. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 4
Class Theme Icon
Lost Innocence Theme Icon
...estate—Leon and his friend Paul Marshall, the son of the millionaire manufacturer of the chocolate Amo bar . She goes down to greet the men herself, since her mother is lying down... (full context)
Perspective Theme Icon
Class Theme Icon
...at length about his work in the chocolate factory, and the plans to make the Amo bar a standard issue confection for every soldier in the event that England decides to fight... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 5
Class Theme Icon
Lost Innocence Theme Icon
...begins to speak with her. The twins join the conversation and Paul shows them an Amo bar . When Paul explains that it will be standard issue in each soldier’s equipment, the... (full context)