Friday, July 1, 2011

The Men of L'Engle #4: Sandy and Dennys

Sandy and Dennys Murry (side note: am I the only one who grew up wanting to pronounce that like Denny's?) are twins, and that's one of their defining traits. They didn't grow up dressing alike or making up their own language or anything like that, but they've got a bond. And besides that, they're the normal ones in the family. No outcast status, no special powers, no Nobel Prizes -- well, there was the one time they ended up helping Noah build the ark, but that was an accident. Most of the time the twins are secondary characters, but in Many Waters they get the stage to themselves.

Leading characteristics:
  • Sensible. Sandy and Dennys are the more-or-less normal members of the Murry family. They put a premium on conforming, and it's what makes them happy.
  • Green-thumbed. Someone should count the mentions of the twins' vegetable garden in the L'Engle oeuvre.
  • Socially conscious: Particularly in A House Like a Lotus. They may not be tessering in their adult lives, but they're still totally going to change the world. In a good way.
Pull quote(s):
  • Sandy: "If Dad were a plumber or an electrician, and if Mother were somebody's secretary, it would be a lot easier for us."
  • Dennys: "We've never had willing suspensions of disbelief. We're the pragmatists of the family."
  • Sandy: "We were stupid, mucking around with an experiment-in-progress."
We get to see the twins grow up in L'Engle's books, so we know that Sandy becomes a lawyer and Dennys is a doctor. And where are they now? I could imagine either one as an Obama appointee, or affiliated with a university. No doubt they're on their Android phones at all hours, since we know that saving the world is not a 9-to-5 job.


aquafortis said...

I love this post! Now I'm going to have to go back and read #'s 1-3. :) And yes--I always tend to read Dennys as Denny's...

Sarah Rettger said...

Oh, good. Glad I'm not the only one. (Thanks to Gina Choe's reminders, the remaining L'Engle posts should be appearing a little faster than the first ones did.)

Colleen said...

I pronounced it the same way - I blame my suburban upbringing that had way more "Denny's" restaurants then people with exotic names like "Dennys".

That vegetable garden - man, it was practically a minor character in the books!

Sarah Rettger said...

It totally was. An as someone who's never had a great caretaker relationship with plants, I was really impressed by it.

web said...

I always pronounced it that way but just thought of it as a cool sounding name, no association with restaurants at all. I was also quite bummed when I discovered the cool sounding (to me) Gladys (glad-ees) was supposed to be the utterly yuck Glad-is.

Sarah Rettger said...

Ha! I never even thought about the Gladys parallel.

Celia said...

I very much fell in love with them during Many Waters! For a long time, that was my favorite L'Engle book, because I enjoyed Sandy and Dennys so much.

Sarah Rettger said...

Yeah, Many Waters is pretty excellent.