Study Guide

The Emperor's Children Setting & Symbolism

Claire Messud
This Study Guide consists of approximately 42 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Emperor's Children.
This section contains 1,155 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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Murray's Office

Murray's office is the "inner sanctum" of the Thwaite house, symbolizing Murray's own vision of himself. No one is allowed to come in without permission, and when they are allowed in, nothing can be touched or rearranged. The contents of the study are cluttered, with manuscripts, post-it notes, and newspaper clippings all treated as holy relics by Murray, his family, and Bootie, just as is Murray's highly esteemed mind. The truth about the office is revealed, however, by Aurora, the maid, who describes the office as full of stinking cigarettes and a half-empty bottle of whiskey in one of the drawers. Bootie reveals the truth about Murray's mind by exposing Murray's affairs, his re-hashing of his own past writings, and basically becoming a hollow monument. The study has a window overlooking Manhattan, as does Murray's mind. But once ideas, the sun, and more enter the study...

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This section contains 1,155 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Emperor's Children Study Guide
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