The Trials of Arabella is the title of the play that Briony composes at the beginning of the novel and imperiously directs Lola, Jackson, and Pierrot to perform with her. At the end of the book, a new generation of Briony’s family performs the play to commemorate Briony’s 70th birthday. Because Briony authors and appears in The Trials of Arabella in much the same way that she authors and appears in the book as a whole, The Trials of Arabella serves as a synecdoche—a part of a thing that represents that thing as a whole—for the larger book that contains it. The play’s reappearance within different contexts of the narrative illustrates the way that Briony’s role is beyond her control, even when she herself has authored the part she plays. It is also worth noting that the Trials of Arabella also mimics the actual story of Atonement, as it tells the story of a heroine and her doctor, which matches up with the story of Cecilia and Robbie. And just as in the Trials of Arabella, in writing the story of Cecilia and Robbie the author, Briony, insists on giving her protagonists a happy ending. And yet the ways that Briony’s play don’t match up with reality—in the play it is Briony as Arabella who ends up with the doctor, Robbie in actuality doesn’t end up actually a doctor, the happy ending does not resolve all their misfortune or anger at Briony herself—create a kind of resonance that illustrates both how people both grow while staying in some ways the same, and how literature both can and can’t capture and affect the real world.