Study Guide

Many Waters

by Madeleine L'Engle

Many Waters Characters

Themes and Characters

The main characters of Many Waters are twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys Murry, who, unlike their unusual scientist parents and their time-traveling siblings, Meg and Charles Wallace, see themselves as fairly normal. In A Wrinkle in Time, the twins are the only members of the family who fit in at school and who can get along well in social situations. In Many Waters, the two boys also see themselves as the practical members of the family, the ones who can solve problems, the ones who can do anything. The boys, now fifteen, still enjoy playing sports, like hockey, but are beginning to think about their futures. Sandy wants to be a lawyer and Dennys, a doctor. (That they will both be successful in these endeavors has already been established in A Swiftly Tilting Planet in which they are much older.)

While the twins are identical in their appearance, it gradually becomes clear that there are differences between them. Sandy is more pragmatic, while Dennys is a dreamer, the one who learns to hear the language of the stars. Up until this adventure, Sandy has always been the leader and Dennys the follower. While both of the twins are attracted to Noah's daughter, Yalith, it is Sandy who is initially most susceptible to the deceptive Tiglah. During the course of this novel, the twins begin to mature, at least partially through being separated for the first time in their lives.

Yalith, like the twins, is young and innocent (although in her time one hundred years old is very "young") and, like the twins, she is tempted sexually. She rejects the advances of the enigmatic Eblis, unlike her older sister, Mahlah, who marries...

(The entire section is 680 words.)