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Like C.S. Lewis’ books, particularly The Last Battle from the Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time has overtones of Christian doctrine that some may find heavy-handed. While this is not an issue for everyone, the book is an odd combination of hard science, quantum science, bible quotes, and references to spiritual leaders and moral messages from classic literature and philosophers. This unique blend of science and religion has garnered criticism from both religious fundamentalists and atheists alike. Despite this, L’Engle deserves credit for attempting to address this issue, even if she fails to provide a comprehensive solution. While it is understandable that a school teacher might use this book to demonstrate the compatibility of Evolutionist Theory and Creationism, the uneasy coexistence of science and religion in this book is hard to ignore. One is often abruptly dropped in favor of the other, making it difficult to take the book entirely seriously.
Rewriting in English: Now that I have discussed the bigger issue, let’s move on. I found the characters to be quite shallow (the genius child, the outsider girl, the beautiful, genius, scientist mother who still stays home and cooks stews with Bunsen burners while her husband is on his adventures). The story itself consists of fuzzy incidents of inner and spiritual conflict, with the entire Universe at stake. L’Engle’s metaphors are clear and their manifestations shallow. [SPOILER ALERT] There is an adventure to fight a “Darkness” (oooh!) which wishes to take away our individuality and free will. There are three entities that were stars before they expired in the fight against the “Darkness” and became something beyond our understanding. They can appear to us in any form, so that we can understand their existence. They are, in reality, so far beyond anything knowable that I can’t feel much for them or say much about them, except that they serve as a useful plot device for transporting the characters throughout the Universe and the story. So, what is the perpetrator of the brainwashing? It is a giant, wicked, disembodied brain, called IT, which is responsible for disseminating the Darkness across the Universe. Does anyone else believe this to be too simplistic and overused? The main character defeats this brain with an outpouring of love. I am sure that many readers were moved to tears by Meg’s outpouring, but I am not one of those people. Before Meg realizes that she has the power to express love, the crusaders travel through time and space (no explanation of how the father can do this) to an intriguing planet with very interesting aliens who cannot see, but have other senses. I would have liked to know more about their society and these mysterious other senses, however, these ideas are not very developed.
I love the courage that Madeleine L’Engle showed in her writing by attempting to address the controversial issue of mixing science and spirituality. Her work affirms the power of love, while also recognizing fear as a formidable weapon. The book celebrates individuality and the love of a family, and L’Engle has enough respect for children to include difficult vocabulary and complex concepts. She doesn’t underestimate them, but instead encourages them to think beyond the obvious. Although some parts of the book can seem simplistic or cliche, it is important to remember that it is meant for children and it is okay for them to be idealistic or naive.
Wind In The Willows brings me closer to a divine force or a creative power (although, admittedly, there is a certain degree of sentimentality at the conclusion). The Jungle Book delves into social structures and morality in a more natural manner. A Sound Of Thunder left a lasting impression on me when I was in elementary school due to its concept of the “butterfly effect” and how it underlines the responsibility of each individual. All of these works are originally written for children, but they have managed to transcend time and space more skillfully than tessering ever did for me. There are so many more books I can name.
If A Wrinkle in Time opened your mind to new ideas instead of frustrating you with its light treatment of them, made you question hidden prejudices instead of becoming bored by obvious metaphors, lifted your spirits and made you cheer for bookish outcasts instead of feeling that no one was that one-dimensional, or brought you to tears with the love of a big sister and little brother instead of cringing when “I love you Charles Wallace” appears 19 times in two pages, then it is a wonderful book for you.
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What is the main theme of the book?
The main theme of the book is the power of love and the strength of family.
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What is the name of the protagonist?
The protagonist’s name is Meg Murry.
What is the name of the antagonist?
The antagonist’s name is IT.
How old is Meg Murry?
Meg Murry is thirteen years old.
How does Meg travel through time?
Meg travels through time using a tesseract, a fifth-dimensional phenomenon.