A Wrinkle in Time
I wish I could have had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Madeline L’Engle, author of A Wrinkle In Time. She was a confident woman who held herself to a strong set of guiding principles and an amazing work ethic. I believe she and I could have talked for days without a break.
The mixture of science and fantasy in A Wrinkle In Time gave me the ability to lose myself in a new world. It was really the first experience I’d had at truly reading for escape. And, I needed that. The controversy surrounding it escaped me, though I wouldn‘t have cared anyway—you can read about it in this article if you’d like to know what I mean. I just loved the story. I was an awkward tween, with more than a couple of family issues, who didn’t think I fit in anywhere. Just like Meg.
A Wrinkle In Time is about the young, awkward Meg, her friend Calvin, and her little brother Charles Wallace—primarily. They meet a fanciful woman who opens the doorway to a wonderful adventure that helps them find their missing father. At least that’s the way Charles Wallace viewed it, but Meg struggled. As they learned about the creepy world of Camazotz where everyone looked alike and acted like robots, the scary IT, and the Darkness that tried to destroy everything—they also learned a lot about themselves. Through the help of two other wacky women, some flying centaurs, and the ability to travel through time, each character learns what they need most. Meg needed to get over her fears and control issues to accept some things on faith. Just like me.
While I understood the themes and the references to Christianity when I read it earlier, I picked up on them more re-reading it as an adult. This is where the primary controversy lies in this book. I’m not going into that fully here, but there are several articles that give different views on the subject. Some Christians who love it, here, and some who don’t here. (It was hard to find opinions that didn’t mix in the movie version—but I tried.)
My focus is that of a world that whisks us away from our reality and transports us into other dimensions and times. Stories that allows us to leave behind the pressures we all face for a little while. When we put the book aside and re-enter our real life, we can recall the strength of the characters we loved to inspire ourselves into a better existence. They did something great, they overcame, they never gave up—even though they wanted to.
As a kid, I needed assurance that life could get better, and characters who overcame bigger situations than I’d ever face, helped me believe it was possible. As an adult, it’s still a message I need. Life gets better, but it never gets easy.
There’s an entire generation espousing the mantra “Adulting Sucks” today. I’ve been doing it for a while now, and I can’t disagree with them, most of the time. But, it’s important to know that you can overcome, you can pull yourself up, deal with whatever monsters come your way—and survive. Not alone because we all need help. Sometimes, that help might start from a fictional character in a book we read, by ourselves in the corner of our room, on a dark and stormy night.
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