Oppenheimer, The Sad True Story of Jean Tetlock

OppenheimerChristopher Nolan’s latest 180-minute feature has finally arrived in Italian cinemas. However, among the many more than positive opinions and reviews, there are voices accusing the film of insufficient depth in the development of characters revolving around the American physicist. Among them, we can only find Jean Tetlock.

Who was Jean Tatlock, Oppenheimer’s true love?

Pugh and Murphy in a scene from Oppenheimer
Pugh and Murphy in a scene from Oppenheimer

Jean TatlockTogether with Mrs. Oppenheimer, Emily Blunt represents one of the most important female characters, and not only, in the development of the film and in the life of the physicist. And yet Nolan prefers not to shed light on all the nuances that could bring with him a mysterious and symbolic figure, like that of Oppenheimer’s first and painful love. Florence character Drink it’s outlined on stage in Killian’s mind Murphy and the marks it left on him.

But Jean Tetlock was not only that. Although this was also due to Oppenheimer’s ties to her, 1954 he was denied access to sensitive national security information. Tetlock was born in 1914in Michigan from famous and literate parentswhich clearly affected his education. He received his psychiatric degree from Stanford in 1941, three years before his untimely death. However, he also studied English literature and approached the world of journalism. In fact, he edited several reports and investigations for Western workernewspaper known for its connection with the Communist Party.

Jean and Oppenheimer met in 1936at Berkeley, where he taught physics at the university. “Seeing a woman in a lecture hall was still considered unusual, especially if she was a woman with Tetlock’s academic ability, her life history, and her good looks. Despite the ten-year age difference between them, all of Oppenheimer’s close friends say he fell in love with her like never before.”. Here’s what they say collide from the biography Robert Oppenheimer, father of the atomic bomb. Triumph and tragedy of the scientist.

The end of Gene Tatlock in Oppenheimer…

Florence Pugh as Jean Tetlock
Florence Pugh as Jean Tetlock

AAA small spoiler

The death of Jean Tatlock marks a critical moment in the life of Oppenheimer, who had to endure the loss of one of his most sincere and meaningful attachments at one of the most critical moments of his career. The circumstances of the death of a young psychiatrist, who at that time had only 29 yearswere never fully elucidated, and Nolan (see all of his film cameos here) wanted to use an approach to the question too fog.

You want to avoid taking sides or, conversely, accepting conspiracy theories, or maybe just reinforcing the oppressive sense of responsibility of its protagonist. In fact, the director chooses installation which organizes suicide-murderin which the viewer sees Tetlock taking drugs and allowing himself to drown in the tub, but at the same time someone’s hands force him to stay underwater.

… and in reality

Oppenheimer frame
Oppenheimer frame

What is certain is that Jean was found dead by her father, with her head partially submerged in water. bath and with farewell card which read: “I hate everything. To those who loved and helped me, I send all my love and courage. I wanted to live and do my part, but for some reason I was paralyzed. I tried like crazy to figure it out and couldn’t..

However, there were several elements that robbed the suicide hypothesis of credibility in favor of a desire to eliminate Tetlock due to her political positions and her proximity to Oppenheimer. In fact, the father waited several hours before calling for help, and he is said to have burned his daughter’s letters and photographs before they arrived.

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