The Waterworks Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 5 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Waterworks.
This section contains 342 words
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There are shadowy characters in keeping with the mystery of Doctorow's novel, The Waterworks, and more conventional figures in pursuit of the elusive villains. The evil genius of the book is Dr. Sartorius who has convinced the corrupt authorities of New York to convert a waterworks facility into a laboratory for medical experiments on rich old men. Dr. Sartorius, however, is only revealed in person near the end of the novel. Even then it is not clear if he should be acknowledged for his "pure scientific temperament," or rejected as "criminally insane."

One of the old men kept in limbo between life and death is Augustus Pemberton. Despite the early reports of his ghostlike appearance beyond the grave, there is nothing ambiguous about the moral status of this character. His fortune comes from slave ships and war profiteering. He even disinherits his own family to buy his way...

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This section contains 342 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Waterworks Short Guide
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The Waterworks from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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