Einstein's Dreams | Study Guide

Alan Lightman

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Course Hero. "Einstein's Dreams Study Guide." Course Hero. 30 Mar. 2017. Web. 15 Nov. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, March 30). Einstein's Dreams Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/

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Course Hero. "Einstein's Dreams Study Guide." March 30, 2017. Accessed November 15, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/.


Course Hero, "Einstein's Dreams Study Guide," March 30, 2017, accessed November 15, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Einsteins-Dreams/.

Einstein's Dreams | Epilogue | Summary



A clock tower in the distance strikes eight o'clock, and the young clerk Einstein wakes up and walks to the window of his office. The town outside is beginning to wake up too, and soon a patent officer comes into the office and begins working. A few minutes later the typist enters, and Einstein hands her his theory of time to type up. He returns to the window, feeling empty and uninterested in reviewing patents or talking to his friend Besso or thinking about physics.


The Epilogue brings the reader full circle, back to the office setting of the Prologue and back to Einstein as he wakes up from his final dream, having finally completed his theory of time. Whereas the world was quiet and still in the Prologue, now it begins to wake up, and things begin to move and take shape. Notably Einstein feels empty after all his hard work, and nothing that previously bought him solace feels helpful anymore. Lightman gives the reader this final paradox to consider. A man who will go on to win the Nobel Prize for Physics feels at a loss after completing the most difficult work of his life. This shows Einstein was someone who created his own meaning through his work with time.

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