To got them in chronological order yet.’ Although

To an extent, Dowell succeeds with his deception as a small proportion of the literary criticism on The Good Soldier compounds his false self-presentation with sympathy. Dowell’s direct apostrophe to the reader, ‘O sympathetic soul,’ acts in the same way that the second person ‘you’ mode of Stevens’ narrative appropriates the reader as a jury member open to persuasion. The 1915 Boston transcript review of The Good Soldier has Dowell a ‘stupid man’ who ‘gives (…) an air of truth to his story.’ Furthermore, Hynes’ influential reading of the text created a critical school who see Dowell’s story as ‘an honest expression of confusion and pain.’ When compared to the scarce number who see Stevens as an ‘unwitting victim,’ it is evident that Dowell is more successful in convincing his readers to ‘accept (his) observations as objective fact,’ of which Hessler accuses Hynes. This failure to recognise Dowell’s falsity is due to the distortions of time which cloud the narrative. The interplay of crisp recollections with resignations to forgetfulness makes Dowell’s narrative disconcertingly jumpy. By telling his story ‘as it comes’, in the stream-of-consciousness style, there is a lack of any order to his memories which Dowell openly admits makes ‘it difficult for anyone to find their path through what may be a sort of maze.’ This lack of linearity is the exact tool which Samgrass uses while presenting photographs to Lady Marchmain in order to hide the fact that Sebastian disappears during the latter half of their trip: ‘Of course, I haven’t got them in chronological order yet.’ Although Stevens’ psychological journey resembles Dowell and Samgrass’ lack of linearity, his narrative is made easier to navigate by the fact that his physical journey is assiduously chronological and neatly marked in sections (‘Day One- Evening/Salisbury’). His conscious assembling not only means that more of his readers recognise his falsity, but also calls into question his claim to having no autonomy, making it harder for the reader to empathise with him. Although this compulsive clinging to orderliness is a strategy to cope with handling the pain of the past, Dowell’s narrative bewilderment is more effective to evoke compassion in the reader as it conveys the agony to corroborate his victimisation. Dowell’s use of structure to gain the reader’s sympathy can be further explored with Charles’ inclusion of ‘The Prologue’ in Brideshead Revisited, where his description of the ‘bare clay banks’ and ‘mutilated old trees’ conveys his alienation in a world of spiritual degeneration. While this may not seem manipulative, context reveals the falsity of Charles’ self-presentation as isolated in a secularised world with the 48% growth in Catholicism between 1940 and 1963. This framework enables Charles to skew the reader’s bias towards himself before either Sebastian or Lady Marchmain are introduced. Again, Briony contrasts these three narrators as she seeks the reader’s condemnation through her use of structure, returning to the same event in three different parts to emphasise her manipulation. The first mention of Briony’s swimming lesson with Robbie occurs in the narrative perspective of eleven-year-old Briony (Part One). She to denounces him as ‘a villain in the form of an old family friend (…) who used to carry her on his back, and swim with her in the river, holding her against the current.’ This condemnation is proved shamefully misconstrued, to the extent of embarrassing the reader for believing it, with Briony’s use of free indirect discourse in Part Two of the novel. From Robbie’s perspective, it is revealed that Briony jumped into the river during this lesson in order to test his loyalty, shifting the reader’s denunciation from Robbie to herself for being manipulative. It not only hints at her further exploitation of the text itself but makes her earlier desire to uncover Robbie’s supposed facade as a ‘family friend’ proleptically ironic: ‘The pretence, how she ached to expose it!’ This acts in opposition to Dowell, who employs structure to prevent the reader from recognising the very fact that he manipulates to deceive. Thus, while Charles, Dowell and Stevens succeed, albeit to varying degrees, in employing structure to gain further sympathy from the reader, Briony deliberately receives the reader’s censure to pay penance for her actions.