A student in the “Science Sixth” at Tony’s school, Robson never appears directly in the novel, but is a significant reference point for Tony and his friends after he commits suicide, having gotten his girlfriend pregnant. The boys view his suicide as less a tragic event than an opportunity for them to speculate endlessly and abstractly on his reasons and motives. For Tony, Robson’s suicide is also a counterpoint to Adrian’s, since he understands the latter as admirably well-reasoned and the former as desperate and weak: much of the novel will work to complicate and challenge that view.
Robson Character Timeline in The Sense of an Ending
The timeline below shows where the character Robson appears in The Sense of an Ending. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...got that quotation from the French Patrick Lagrange. Asked to give an example, he said Robson’s suicide—and everyone was shocked, but Adrian tended to get away with more than anyone else.... (full context)
...responses to condolence letters. Adrian replied that nothing could make up for the lack of Robson’s testimony, but Hunt said that a participant’s own explanation always needs to be treated with... (full context)
...reevaluate the way he always saw Adrian: in fact, he was just another version of Robson. For the first time, Tony realizes he and his friends never thought about Robson’s girlfriend... (full context)