The Female Persuasion

by

Meg Wolitzer

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Emmett Shrader Character Analysis

The wealthy head of ShraderCapital, the investment firm which backs Faith Frank’s organization, Loci. It is revealed in a series of flashbacks that Faith and Emmett have known each other for several decades—they slept together when Faith and her fellow editors at Bloomer were trying to persuade Shrader and his partners at Nabisco to purchase ad space at the magazine. Shrader’s wife found out about the brief affair, though, and so Shrader never invested in the magazine. Years later, once Bloomer folds, Shrader invites Faith to his office for a meeting and offers to help her establish a women’s foundation. Though Emmett’s intentions are more or less good, his firm, ShraderCapital, becomes increasingly stingy with the resources it offers to Loci. Eventually, it is revealed that the Ecuadorian mentorship program which ShraderCapital purportedly backed on behalf of Loci never even existed. Emmett eventually dies of a heart attack while having “athletic” sex with a young woman. Although he stipulated in his will that Loci should continue, the “people upstairs” at ShraderCapital reduce Loci’s budget gradually until it becomes nothing but a “low-level speakers’ forum.”

Emmett Shrader Quotes in The Female Persuasion

The The Female Persuasion quotes below are all either spoken by Emmett Shrader or refer to Emmett Shrader. 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:
Female Friendship and Mentorship Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead Books edition of The Female Persuasion published in 2018.
Chapter 8 Quotes

In bed Emmett smiled lazily, opening his arms and enclosing her. “Come here,” he said, as if she weren’t already right there. But he wanted her even closer, wanted to be inside her at once, an idea that she thought she understood in that moment, because she not only wanted him inside her, she wanted to be inside him in some way too. Maybe even to be him. She wanted to inhabit his confidence, his style, the way he walked through the world, which was so different from the way she did.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Emmett Shrader
Page Number: 295
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

“We were all put on this earth to row the boats we were meant to row,” she said. “I work for women. That’s what I do. And I am going to keep doing it. I have no idea if this Ecuador story will ever leak. If it does, it will be an embarrassment, and perhaps it will shut us down. But the bottom line is that I’m not going anywhere.”

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Emmett Shrader
Page Number: 400
Explanation and Analysis:

“It must be a burden to you to be the most important person to people who aren’t all that important to you,” he said.

“I’m not sure I agree with your interpretation. I get a lot from them too, remember.”

“What do you get?” he asked. “I’m curious.”

“Well, they keep me in the world,” she said, and that was all she wanted to say.

Related Characters: Faith Frank (speaker), Emmett Shrader (speaker)
Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
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Emmett Shrader Character Timeline in The Female Persuasion

The timeline below shows where the character Emmett Shrader appears in The Female Persuasion. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
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Sociopolitical Power vs. Personal Fortitude  Theme Icon
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...begins telling Greer that after Bloomer closed, she received a call from an old friend, Emmett Shrader, a famous venture capitalist, who made an offer to fund a women’s foundation which... (full context)
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...and that they’ll need to assemble a team quickly to get things off the ground. Emmett Shrader, she says, has already rented out an entire floor of the building for Loci’s... (full context)
Chapter 5
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...lonely, she hears “heavy and male” footsteps coming down the hall, and soon she sees Emmett Shrader coming toward her. She has met him once before but is still struck by... (full context)
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Emmett approaches Greer and asks her “which one” she is. Greer is excited by Shrader’s presence... (full context)
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Greer agrees that Faith is “wonderful.” Emmett asks Greer if she’s a “Faith Frank groupie,” and Greer demurs, telling him that she... (full context)
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Emmett asks Greer why she isn’t out with all of her coworkers, and Greer self-pityingly explains... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...and has seen the many events and high-profile speakers coming up. Faith tells him that Emmett Shrader told them they needed to “go high-profile.” Loci’s summits now feature famous movie stars,... (full context)
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Faith finds the foundation’s “excesses” depressing. She believes, and has told Emmett repeatedly, that hosting rich women at conferences where they can get a mani-pedi doesn’t actually... (full context)
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The executive, Emmett Shrader, offers to take Faith out so that they can “explore the question of ad... (full context)
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That night, Faith meets Emmett at a dim club in Greenwich village. They both order drinks with paper umbrellas in... (full context)
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Emmett takes her hand and begins stroking it. Faith has been preparing for this moment but... (full context)
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The two have passionate, athletic sex—when they are done, however, Emmett quickly begins to dress and prepares to leave though it is past two in the... (full context)
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As Emmett dresses, he tells Faith that he feels something for her he has never felt before.... (full context)
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The next morning, however, when Emmett calls, he does not bring up the ad. Instead, he tells Faith that his wife... (full context)
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...bestselling books and appears on numerous television programs. Every now and again, she thinks of Emmett Shrader—he has started his own venture capital firm and is now a successful billionaire. Occasionally,... (full context)
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...support everyone she can. However, when Bloomer folds in 2010, Faith feels dejected and useless—until Emmett Shrader calls and asks Faith to come to his office for a meeting. When Faith... (full context)
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The next day, Faith calls Emmett and expresses her concerns that the foundation will become a high-end lecture bureau that doesn’t... (full context)
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Afterward, Faith approached Emmett with a new special project she had in mind—to rescue a number of women who... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...Kim, but Kim insists she is telling the truth. She tells Greer that “they”—Faith and Emmett—sent Greer out on stage in LA knowing that the mentorship program was a ruse, and... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Faith emails Emmett Shrader to invite him to her apartment, and he knows from the terse nature of... (full context)
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Faith asks Emmett if it’s true that the mentorship program doesn’t exist. Emmett carefully replies that it was... (full context)
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Emmett remembers that Faith asked him to do a special project concerning sex trafficking in Ecuador,... (full context)
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Emmett recalls a meeting with his advisors in which they discussed what to do with the... (full context)
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Emmett, with his “flealike” attention span, never followed up on what had transpired in that meeting... (full context)
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Emmett reflects on his marriage, which had been the barrier between him and Faith back in... (full context)
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After his wife’s phone call to Faith, Emmett did not speak to Faith for forty years. Though he had his share of affairs,... (full context)
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Now, in her apartment, Faith tells Emmett that she cannot believe that he steeped their organization in lies simply due to his... (full context)
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Emmett is relieved. He asks Faith to confirm that no one knows anything about the mentorship... (full context)
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Emmett suddenly remarks that he has done everything wrong—he should have left his wife for Faith... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...is now close to eighty and still works at the foundation, though three years earlier, Emmett died of a heart attack while having sex with a young woman. In his will,... (full context)