Study Guide

The Emperor's Children Themes

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 1,517 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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The Emperor Has No Clothes

The emperor the author is referring to in this novel could be Murray Thwaite, Ludo Seeley, or Manhattan itself. The theme reflects a person or entity confident of its superiority, of its elevated status in the world, and of the moment when its false pride is revealed and exposed to the world.

The tailor who crafts the invisible outfit for Murray and Manhattan would be the American public, especially those residing in Manhattan.

The small boys in the crowd who point out Murray's emptiness are Ludo and Bootie. The crowd members who are the most affected by this exposure are Danielle and Marina.

Murray Thwaite is a sixty-year-old journalistic icon who was born in Watertown, attended Harvard, and made New York City his home. In his youth, he worked in the anti-Vietnam movement, and continued his political activism throughout his life. He writes articles...

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This section contains 1,517 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Emperor's Children Study Guide
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