When Kailana said she would host a read along for the Time Quartet, I couldn’t refuse. Never mind that I’ve read them over and over and over since 1973; every single time I read Madeleine I gain a new perspective.
I used to think that A Wrinkle in Time was “only” about love. It is a huge lesson in love. By realizing her love for her brother, Charles Wallace, Meg realizes she has something which can wrest him away from the power of IT. In fact, it is the only thing she can use that has any power. It was an important lesson for me at 11 years of age, sitting in my sixth grade English class, and one I’ve needed remediation in several times since: hate cannot win in the face of love.
But, there’s so much more. This time around I saw Madeleine was writing about more than hate; in particular, I saw her address conformity. There is a certain evil in the expectation, or even desire, that we should all be the same. When we have given up our identity, our own special uniqueness, we might as well have given up our souls.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident!” she shouted, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
As she cried out the words she felt a mind moving in on her own, felt IT seizing, squeezing her brain. Then she realized that Charles Wallace was speaking, or being spoken through by IT.
“But that’s exactly what we have on Camazotz. Complete equality. Everybody exactly alike.”
For a moment her brain reeled with confusion. Then came a moment of blazing truth. “No!” she cried triumphantly. “Like and equal are not the same thing at all!”
“Good girl, Meg!” her father shouted at her.
But Charles Wallce continued as though there had been no interruption. “In Camazotz all are equal. In Camazotz everybody is the same as everybody else,” but he gave her no argument, provided no answer, and she held on to her moment of revelation.
Like and equal are two entirely different things. (p.160)
Hate and love are two entirely different things; like and equal are two entirely diffferent things; control and freedom are two entirely different things. Thank you, Madeleine, for reminding me that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.