A Wrinkle In Time
By: Madeleine L’Engle
Spoiler Alert: I normally try to avoid spoilers in my post, however get my message across I had to include a couple of major plot points of this book.
I decided to read this book for two reasons. First, the movie is coming out soon and I like to compare books to movie adaptations. And second, because I remember being completely captivated by this book in my childhood. When I was very young my mother read this book to me. I loved it, partially because I loved space and partially because I identified with the main character because she was good at math.
L’Engle held my attention throughout the entire book. If I hadn’t been so busy lately I probably would have finished in a day or two. It had been such a long-time since my mother read it to me that I’d forgotten the entire plot. It came back to me as I read it, but it was fun because every page was still a surprise.
Like most of L’Engle’s work, the book contains many Christian themes. For example, when asked who the warriors of the light are Charles Wallace responds with Jesus. In fact, the main premise of the book is a dramatized war between ALL good and ALL evil. Summed up by the opposing Light and The Dark Thing.
Aside from the greater themes of the book, L’Engle also interweaves familiar lessons many of us learn as we get older. For example, Meg becomes upset when she realizes her parents are not omnipotent figures that can fix everything. Accepting that my parents are simply human beings with fallacies of their own was an even more difficult task for an analytical thinker like myself. I wanted so badly to be able to just ask them for answers and them to respond simply and directly to fix my problems instantly. When your little, that’s easy. As you become older, questions become more difficult, answers more nuance. Growing up is hard.
Sometimes letting go can be the right thing to do. It’s natural to want to protect those less inclined to protect themselves, especially our children and little siblings. However, it is not always the right thing to do. The three witches sternly block Megs father from letting her go to Camazotz alone. What seemed cold was correct. Meg was the only one capable of reaching Charles, to send any other person would mean certain death, to not go would mean death for Charles. She had to go, and she had to go alone.
Love conquers all. Martin Luther King Jr once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” This is the core theme of A Wrinkle in Time. Meg struggles with anger. She gets angry with her father when he can’t fix things, she gets angry at the witches for not doing more to stop The Darkness, and at IT for taking Charles Wallace. But she learns that her anger will not stop IT and will only help IT succeed in taking over the Universe. Loving Charles Wallace is the only thing she is capable of that IT is not. And love proves to be more powerful than any of IT’s mind control games.
over and out,