A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle Essay

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L’Engle uses a creative mixture of three different story-book motifs for building the story line in her book A Wrinkle in Time. From beginning to end Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin go through adventure after adventure bursting with animated fairy-tale characteristics, a model preteen coming-of-age theme, and a subtle Christian suggestion. The three are intertwined naturally, and work well within the science-fiction twist of this very believable fantasy tale.

The main character Meg Murry is the perfect innocent child turned heroine. As in the typical coming-of-age theme, the beginning of the story presents 13 year old Meg as young, and terribly dependent on others. Constantly wallowing
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True to a coming-of-age theme these details suggest a touch of realism: that—in real life—good is not always rewarded. Life is not always fair—an awakening usually realized by children during middle school years [class lecture].
As in both fairy-tale, and coming-of-age themes, the children have a specific quest—their goal is to find and rescue their long-lost and desperately missed father. With the help of Calvin, Meg and Charles Wallace set out to tackle the impossible. Good vs evil as their journey begins. The three have an unusual set of fairy-god-mother equivalents in the wild and wacky characters of Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who. Not unlike Charlotte who jumps to Wilbur’s rescue (E.B. White, Charlottes Web), Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Who devise a plan, give direction and guidance, and set the quest in motion. The magical good of the three Mrs. Ws is contrasted by the frightfully powerful evil of the “Black Thing.” Similar to the biblical Satin who cast a shadow of sin over mankind, the black thing hangs motionless like a cloud over the universe, causing the Earth to be a terribly troubled planet.

Traveling through space by tessering, and having to pass through the Black Thing, Meg can only describe it as more than a “darkness or absents of light…a horrifying void—a shadow that was so terrible…that there had never been before or ever would be again, anything that would chill her with a fear that was beyond shuttering, beyond crying or

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