Lola is the typical pre teen. It seems like they have all negative motives but it is almost uncontrollable and just of part of their development. It is literally an emotional and mental roller coaster and so Lola has moments of vulnerability and then the next minute can be spiteful and full of malice. Pre teens feel the most empowered in nonthreatening environments; everything changes once they are in a truly dangerous situation. When Lola uses her brothers as a scapegoat for Marshall’s attack, she is surprisingly strong and mature because she has survived the encounter. The event in the woods, however, is on a different level. She allows for Briony to take over in the woods because her wall has finally fallen. She has been shown the real, ugly world too quickly and her child instincts take over. The situation is too great to handle alone and she lets someone else take some of the impact and mother her. In this sense, I think Lola serves to bring out the best and worst qualities in Briony. She puts false ideas in Briony’s head and encourages her to act on these but also leads Briony to care for another and have someone to protect.
Leon and Robbie are in similar positions, however, the way they handle it is based upon their actions. Both are somewhat outsiders in the Tallis household, trying their best to keep relations with certain people in it. Robbie yearns just for Cecelia but is respectful to the family as a whole. He acknowledges that he is an outsider and works that much harder to work his way in. Leon thinks that just by being home he is doing his duty. A character with determination and true motives is much more desirable than one who thinks his privileged life carries over in effortless relationships. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this distinguishes Robbie as a tragic hero, but more like a tragic character in general. His life is so sad. He works for an upper class family who have created many opportunities for him which he is determined to pay back. They forget everything the moment he is accused of the rape and turn a blind eye, letting his life be ruined. The Tallis family would have backed Leon no matter what, simply because he is a part of the family and similarly, Marshall is not given a second thought because he is also a member of the high society. It is ironic that arguably the best character in the story is dealt the worst fate. But I think that is true in all of life-character is built through adversity-just wish Robbie could have lived long enough to see that happen.