Marionettes, Inc.

by

Ray Bradbury

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Marionettes, Inc. can help.

Mrs. Braling Character Analysis

Mrs. Braling is Braling’s hateful, controlling wife. She forced Braling into marrying her by threatening him with a rape accusation (after the pair presumably had mutually consenting sex). Ten years later, she is still as controlling as ever. Even though Smith has been trying to get Braling to go out for a drink with him for ten years, Braling is only able to do so once he can distract Mrs. Braling with Braling Two. Mrs. Braling only appears in the final lines of the story. She is startled when “someone” (likely Braling Two) kisses her cheek while she is asleep, implying that the Bralings’ marriage has been affectionless and stale for years. When Braling Two turns against Braling by attempting to lock him up in the toolbox (and presumably let him die), Braling frantically asks the marionette if Mrs. Braling put him up to this. The fact that Braling would even consider that his wife was behind his impending murder suggests that the pair’s relationship is not just dysfunctional—it’s built on true hatred and contempt.

Mrs. Braling Quotes in Marionettes, Inc.

The Marionettes, Inc. quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Braling or refer to Mrs. Braling. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon and Schuster edition of Marionettes, Inc. published in 1949.
“Marionettes, Inc.” Quotes

“What did you do, put sleeping powder in your wife’s coffee?”

“No, that would be unethical.”

Related Characters: Braling (speaker), Smith (speaker), Mrs. Braling
Page Number: 234
Explanation and Analysis:

“It may be splitting hairs, but I think it highly ethical. After all, what my wife wants most of all is me. This marionette is me to the hairiest detail. I’ve been home all evening. I shall be home with her for the next month. In the meantime another gentleman will be in Rio after ten years of waiting.”

Related Characters: Braling (speaker), Smith, Braling Two, Mrs. Braling
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:

“Did my wife put you up to this?”

“No.”

“Did she guess? Did she talk to you? Does she know? Is that it?” […]

“You’ll never know, will you?” Braling Two smiled delicately. “You’ll never know.”

Braling struggled. “She must have guessed; she must have affected you!”

Related Characters: Braling (speaker), Braling Two (speaker), Mrs. Braling
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:

Ten minutes later, Mrs. Braling awoke. She put her hand to her cheek. Someone had just kissed it. She shivered and looked up. “Why—you haven’t done that in years,” she murmured.

“We’ll see what we can do about that,” someone said.

Related Characters: Mrs. Braling (speaker), Braling, Braling Two
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Marionettes, Inc. LitChart as a printable PDF.
Marionettes, Inc. PDF

Mrs. Braling Character Timeline in Marionettes, Inc.

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Braling appears in Marionettes, Inc.. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“Marionettes, Inc.”
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...it hasn’t been that bad, but Smith continues, saying that word “got around” about how Braling’s wife got Braling to marry her—it was 1979, right when Braling was about to leave for... (full context)
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
Smith continues, recounting how the future Mrs. Braling “tore her clothes,” “rumpled her hair,” and “threatened to call the police” unless Braling would... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...finally be able to visit Rio, but he tentatively asks if doing so won’t upset Braling’s wife . With small, nervous smile, Braling says that it won’t upset his wife because she... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...month, Braling has kept the marionette in a locked toolbox in the cellar. After all, Braling’s wife never goes into the cellar, and Braling is the only one with the key to... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...“It may be splitting hairs,” but he thinks using his marionette is “highly ethical.” What Braling’s wife really wants is Braling himself, and that is what she is getting. Braling explains, “I’ve... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...sweat like a human. Braling asks the marionette if he will take good care of Braling’s wife . Braling Two answers, “Your wife is rather nice.[…] I’ve grown rather fond of her.” (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Braling says that Smith is actually fortunate—Nettie loves Smith too much, while Mrs. Braling simply hates Braling. Smith says the problem is that Nettie loves him “madly,” when he... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...the thought of Braling spending a month in warm, happy Rio while Braling Two and Braling’s wife are “stuck here in the cold.” Braling protests, claiming that he’s dreamed of this trip... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
Braling Two continues, saying that he’s “grown quite fond” of Mrs. Braling . Braling says he’s glad the marionette is “enjoying [his] employment,” but the marionette explains... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...with a “metal-firm grip,” and tells him not to run. Braling asks the marionette if Mrs. Braling “put [him] up to this,” but the marionette says no. Continuing, Braling asks if she... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Control Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
...and get rid of the key. Then, he’ll buy a plane ticket to Rio for Braling’s wife . Braling cries out that they need to “talk this over,” but the marionette simply... (full context)
The Cost of Technology Theme Icon
Control Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Secrecy and Deception Theme Icon
Ten minutes later, Mrs. Braling wakes up to a kiss on her cheek. She whispers, “Why—you haven’t done that in... (full context)