Monday, July 4, 2011

The Men of L'Engle #7: Alex Murry

We don't find out Alex Murry's name when he first appears -- to Meg, he's just "Father." The first name becomes necessary by the time An Acceptable Time rolls around, though, since we're now talking multiple generations.

Alex is a brilliant scientist who manages to get himself trapped on Camazotz the first time he tessers. (Yeah, spoiler. On the off-chance you need a refresher, watch.) Before and after that, he's off doing high-powered research at various government facilities -- and, when he's so inclined, in the lab he and his wife share in their Connecticut farmhouse.

Leading characteristics:
  • Absent-minded professor. When Meg is first explaining Alex to Calvin, she explains why his hair is long in the picture they're looking at: "he keeps forgetting to have it cut. Mother usually ends up doing it for him -- she bought clippers and stuff -- because he won't take the time to go to the barber"
  • Family man. Even though he's off-screen for most of A Wrinkle in Time, having allegedly abandoned his family (though of course we know better), all evidence still points to his loyalty to hearth and home. We hear how he taught Meg to do math with "far too many shortcuts." And then we see him step in to take care of Polly (oh, look, another tesser).
Pull quotes:
  • "So Murray Gell-Mann, who named [quarks], obviously read Joyce. I find that rather comforting."
  • "Tessering is even more complicated than we had suspected."
  • "Mr. President, hello!"
What's Alex up to these days? I can't imagine him actually retired, can you? I think he's still hanging out in the farmhouse, working on experiments and absolutely trying not to open another tesser if he can &#$*% help it.

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