The Intuitionist: A Novel Setting

Colson Whitehead
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Intuitionist.
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The City

The sprawling city that the vast majority of the plot occurs in is the novel’s central setting. The city shares many similarities to twentieth-century New York City, particularly the hallmarks of the noir fiction genre – corrupt politicians, muckraking journalists, and Mafia leaders. The racism and sexism prevalent throughout the city is also indicative of a historical setting. Yet the technology in the city is highly advanced and futuristic, calling this historical interpretation into question. Thus, the setting of the city is a primary mechanism that establishes the novel as part of the speculative genre.

Lila Mae's Apartment

Lila Mae’s apartment demonstrates Whitehead’s use of physical surroundings to reflect meaning. The apartment is sparse and orderly, with few displays of personality or personal history. This setup echoes Lila Mae’s efficient, formal and guarded demeanor. Her neighborhood also calls attention to racism in the city...

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This section contains 555 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Intuitionist: A Novel Study Guide
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