The Sandcastle Questions and Answers
by Iris Murdoch

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In The Sandcastle, what is the author's message  and the stylistic means of its expression?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that one of the most basic elements of message comes from the inspiration of the title.  Murdoch speaks to what "the sandcastle" might be from her own life:

I can recall, as a child, seeing pictures in English children's books of boys and girls playing on the sand and making sandcastles – and I tried to play on my sand. But a Mediterranean beach is not a place for playing on. It is dirty and very dry. The tides never wash the sand or make it firm. When I tried to make a sandcastle, the sand would just run away between my fingers. It was too dry to hold together. And even as I poured sea water over it, the sun would dry it up at once.

The idea of seeking to construct something out of that which is "very dirty and dry" represents one of the basic messages of the novel.  Bill Mor is immersed in a life that is "very dirty and dry."...

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