The phrase “take in the sheets” in the movie Oppenheimer has a dual meaning. On the one hand, it is a literal reference to the sheets used to clean up the aftermath of the Trinity test, the first atomic bomb test. The sheets were soaked in radioactive material and had to be carefully handled and disposed of.
On the other hand, the phrase has a more symbolic meaning. It refers to the burden of guilt that Oppenheimer felt after the test. He knew that the bomb had the potential to destroy the world, and he was haunted by the thought of what he had helped to create. The phrase thus represents Oppenheimer’s acceptance of his responsibility for the bomb and his willingness to bear the burden of its consequences.
When is the phrase used in the movie?
In the 2023 film Oppenheimer, the first person to say “take in the sheets” is J. Robert Oppenheimer himself. He says it to his wife Kitty after the Trinity Test, the first atomic bomb test. Frank calls Kitty Oppenheimer and tells her that Robert has asked her to “bring in the sheets.” Kitty understands that this references the radioactive sheets and agrees to bring them to Los Alamos.
Later in the movie, Oppenheimer uses the phrase when talking to Kitty. He tells her that he has “taken in the sheets” and is now ready to face the consequences of what he has done. This is a significant moment in the movie, as it marks Oppenheimer’s acceptance of his responsibility for the bomb.
On the day Robert’s team conducted a test, she asked him if the bomb was finally ready. Robert was not allowed to tell her anything as it was a top-secret mission, and Leslie Groves was specially meant to keep a check on every person.
There were security clearances for a reason, as the United States government didn’t want the information to reach the Soviet Union or any other European nation that they were working on an atomic bomb. So, Robert told Kitty that if the Trinity test were successful, he would give her a call from his office and ask her to bring in the sheets.
After the test went well that day, Robert’s assistant called Kitty and told her confusedly that Robert had asked her to bring the sheets in. Kitty understood that her husband had done it, and there was a sense of achievement and acceptance that she also felt at that moment.
When Robert appeared in front of the AEC as they wanted to revoke his clearance, Kitty lost her temper often as she could see the people for who they were.
After witnessing how the testimonies of various people went, we believe that had it not been for Kitty, Robert Oppenheimer would have been declared a Soviet spy by the commission. Kitty disarmed Roger Robb and decimated him; he didn’t know how to deal with the situation. Robert didn’t get his security clearance, and he called Kitty once again, telling her not to take the sheets in, indicating he failed to get the clearance, a sign of defeat.
The various interpretations of “Take in the Sheets’
The phrase “take in the sheets” is a powerful and evocative image. It captures Oppenheimer’s physical and emotional burden after the Trinity test. It is also a reminder of the destructive power of the bomb and the responsibility that we all have to use it wisely.
In addition to its literal and metaphorical meanings, “take in the sheets” also has a historical significance. It refers to how radioactive material was handled in the early days of the atomic age. The sheets were used to clean up the aftermath of nuclear tests, and they were also used to protect people from radiation exposure.
The phrase “take in the sheets” is thus a reminder of the early days of the atomic age and the challenges that scientists and policymakers faced in dealing with the dangers of nuclear weapons. It is also a reminder of the responsibility that we all have to use atomic weapons wisely and prevent them from being used again.
Here are some interpretations of the phrase “take in the sheets” in Oppenheimer:
- The phrase is a reminder of the physical and emotional toll that the development of the atomic bomb took on Oppenheimer and his colleagues.
- It is also a metaphor for Oppenheimer’s guilt after the bomb was used in Japan.
- The phrase reminds us of the destructive power of the atomic bomb and the responsibility that we all have to use it wisely.
“Take in the Sheets” captures the complex emotions and challenges of the atomic age. It is a reminder of the past and a warning for the future.
Oppenheimer is a movie written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It’s based on the Pulitzer-winning book ‘American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer’ by the late Martin J. Sherwin and Kai Bird. The movie is produced by Nolan, his wife Emma Thomas and Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven.
J. Robert Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist who is now considered the Father of the Atomic Bomb. He was responsible for the research and development of the first nuclear bombs, later called the Manhattan Project.
The biographical movie by Nolan sees Peaky Blinders’ star Cillian Murphy essaying the lead role of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The movie released in theaters on July 21, 2023.