The character of Robert Oppenheimer in Outliers from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes


Robert Oppenheimer Character Analysis

The leading physicist on the atomic bomb project (part of the Manhattan Project). Oppenheimer earned his PhD and his highly prestigious job in spite of his communist affiliations and (even more strikingly) having once been accused of trying to poison his professor. Gladwell points out that Oppenheimer knew how to navigate the world and make success for himself in a way that Chris Langan did not.

Robert Oppenheimer Quotes in Outliers

The Outliers quotes below are all either spoken by Robert Oppenheimer or refer to Robert Oppenheimer. 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:
Success and Failure Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay Books edition of Outliers published in 2011.
Chapter 4 Quotes

[Oppenheimer] possessed the kind of savvy that allowed him to get what he wanted from the world.

Related Characters: Chris Langan, Robert Oppenheimer
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Outliers quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Outliers LitChart as a printable PDF.

Robert Oppenheimer Character Timeline in Outliers

The timeline below shows where the character Robert Oppenheimer appears in Outliers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: The Trouble with Geniuses, Part 2
Success and Failure Theme Icon
Talent, Opportunity, Work, and Luck Theme Icon
Gladwell tells us that Langan’s story makes him think of Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist who famously led the American effort to develop a nuclear bomb in WWII.... (full context)
Success and Failure Theme Icon
Talent, Opportunity, Work, and Luck Theme Icon
Langan was kicked out of school for forgetting to file a form, where Oppenheimer received probation for attempting to poison his tutor. Langan believes he is too controversial a... (full context)
Success and Failure Theme Icon
Talent, Opportunity, Work, and Luck Theme Icon
Privilege, Heritage, and Cultural Background Theme Icon
Solutions and Implications for the Future Theme Icon
4. This is perhaps where we can locate the most important difference between Oppenheimer and Langan. Oppenheimer’s parents (an artist and a successful businessman) fostered his passions, made him... (full context)