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Question: The scene with Briony and the French soldier made absolutely no sense to me. They seem to go back and forth from knowing each other well, to having just met. What exactly am I missing?

Answer: Briony was just told by her superior to hold the French soldier's hand because he was dying. The French soldier was delirious and most likely confused her with another English girl whom he knew in the past. Since he was dying, Briony decided to play along and pretended that she was that girl. While this exchange is happening, though, Briony experiences something else as well. She sees the soldier as being like Robbie which is why I think she has such a strong reaction to him. When she tells the soldier "I love you" it is like her speaking to Robbie.

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