The Twins

This study guide will help you analyse the text “The Twins” by Muriel Spark. We will show you examples of elements in the text that will be relevant for your analysis. In these notes, we will focus on the summary, structure, characters, setting, narrator and point of view, language, and themes.

Presentation of the text

Title: “The Twins”
Author: Muriel Spark
Published in: “Norseman”
Date of Publication: 1954
Genre: Short Story

Muriel Spark (1918-2006) was a famous Scottish novelist, poet and short story writer. Some of her most notable works are “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, “The Driver’s Seat” or “Memento Mori”. Several prizes and awards recognise her literary achievements.


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In the short story, the twins themselves become an important symbol. They symbolise a deep connection, but also a dual nature. First of all, all the conflicts in the house seem to be caused by the shared efforts of the twins. Then, their dual nature is suggested by the contrast between the way they look and the way they supposedly act. If we were to take the narrator’s sayings for granted, then we could easily see Marjie and Jeff as an evil doing couple of twins, bringing discord among adults.

The narrator herself becomes the symbol of the intruder, of the person who is, in one way or another, meddling with the harmony of the Reeves family. For the twins, she becomes the symbol of the intruder that needs to be eliminated for the tranquillity of the family to persist

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The Twins

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