A Wrinkle in Time is another great fantasy work, focusing on a fair mixture of science and religion. L’Engle explores topics which focus on ideas that young adults can struggle with on their way to adulthood.
Meg Murray is a young teen who struggles a lot with school, many of her classmates consider her an idiot, but when it comes down to it, she does very well at math and science (with two scientists as parents, it’s easy to see why). Her father has been missing for a couple of years after leaving on a science mission with the government. Her mother continues her chemistry experiments at home, patiently awaiting her husband’s return. Meg also has younger twin brothers who do fair in school, get along well with their peers, and they have a hard time understanding why it’s all so difficult for Meg. The youngest member of the Murray family is Charles Wallace. He was late in developing speech, and many people in their town believed he would be dumb, but he was actually very mature for his age of five, and he had a very impressive vocabulary, along with a nearly sixth-sense of mind reading as he always knew what Meg was thinking.
As Meg and Charles Wallace were walking through the woods to their new neighbor’s home, they befriended Calvin, an older boy who was a star athlete and student. Calvin also had some extra perception capabilities, like Charles Wallace. Together, they met the ‘witch’ neighbors and were soon whisked away to find their father who was on a distant planet, trying to save the universe from an evil darkness that was taking over stars and planets. Mr. Murray was not the first to battle evil, as the witches explained, others like Jesus, the Buddha, and famous artists and scientists also had fought against the evil forces.
As the book explains, they use a form of travel called ‘tessering’ which gets them from planet to planet and into other galaxies in the universe. Soon, they land on the target planet, Camazotz, where they found a society that was completely conformed to do every task at the same time and citizens were exterminated or retrained when they ‘fell out of line’ or caught an illness. Charles Wallace in his naivety, decided to challenge the man who was explaining the order and conformity to the group, and he became hypnotized. The new Charles Wallace led the other two children their father and Meg used a special gift to free him. Together, Charles Wallace then led the crew to ‘IT’ to try to have them hypnotized and join the society as well, he was a completely different and untrustworthy person at that point. Mr. Murray tessered Meg and Calvin to another planet to escape, leaving little Charles Wallace to IT.
The group had tessered to another planet in Camazotz’ solar system and there Meg was nursed to health and found a true belief and good and love and is sent back to Camazotz to use her love to untrap Charles Wallace and return home. The conformity of Camazotz and IT were essentially short circuited by this emotion as they left little free will or capability of truly understanding love.
As mentioned before, important topics in the book focused on young adults gaining a better understanding of the world. L’Engle emphasized the importance of the perseverance of good over evil frequently in the book. She also stressed the fight against conformity and importance of free will as the children explored Camazotz.
This was a fun and quick read. I generally enjoy sci-fi, and those of course were my favorite parts of this book. I liked how they explained ‘tessering’ and traveling at hyperspeed. L’Engle did a great job of describing the emotions and physical feeling of tessering through Meg’s character.
Quick amateur sketch of my thoughts of A Wrinkle in Time: (Kids skipping rope and bouncing balls with a conformed rhythm, boy on end is out of sync, mothers leaning out of houses to call the kids in all at the same time while Charles Wallace, Meg, and Calvin watch. Evil darkness rising behind the houses.)