Madeleine L’Engle: A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
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A Wrinkle in Time, through which to move from one place to another in our universe. That’s truly a call for an adventure. Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace would probably have another opinion, as they’re going on a journey to save their dad. Calvin O’Keeffe, Meg’s schoolmate and to-be-love interest, joins them on this weird quest.

A classic by Madeleine L’Engle is having a come back with a new film version this March.

A Wrinkle in Time movie trailer:

Coming to theaters on the 9th of March 2018

This time the movie actually looks quite tempting based on the trailer. Maybe this version is worth watching? As much as I love literature and usually prefer books to their movie versions, this particular story might actually benefit from a visual form of telling. Well, we’ll see in March!

Want to Spin Your Brains?

The story L’Engle created is complex. It doesn’t let the reader go easy. Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin are an unorthodox company to go on an adventure, let alone a rescue trip. But that’s what they do. The trio gets some help from Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which, (who could easily be the three witches, but are revealed as some kind of guardian angels).

Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin end up to the dark planet of Camazotz, where Meg’s father is held a prisoner. Camazotz is a horrifying façade of perfection, where all the minds of its citizens have been merged under the power of IT (a central controlling unit). Although Charles Wallace is a child prodigy aged five and able to read minds – almost, at least – it is Meg who has what it takes to save their father, and ultimately Charles Wallace too. This is quite obvious from the beginning, so no spoiler alert here. Madeleine L’Engle’s book doesn’t really build on suspense or surprise, but rather on emotions.

Madeleine L’Engle has been quoted telling, that it was a struggle to get this book published. A Wrinkle in Time is definitely not your average story. The cast makes it a middle grade book, but with all its cosmic and philosophical pondering and to-the-point description of a totalitarian society it might be a bit too much for an average middle grader.

There is a quite strong Christian viewpoint in the book. This is something that I was a little bit put off by. On the other hand, and quite surprisingly, it has been criticized of “challenging religious beliefs”.

Acceptance and Tolerance

I think what makes L’Engle still – and continually – topical, are the strong themes of acceptance and tolerance: of differences, free spirit and independent thinking and of not conforming to demands of a society, which might be working against its own citizens despite what it looks like on the surface. If you haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time before, now is a good time to do it. Hope Larson’s graphic novel version of the story is a delightful take on the classic and I enjoyed it greatly too.

Susan

 

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