Tag Archives: young adult books

Thoughts on Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time — post by Michael J. Findley

A Wrinkle In Time 1st edition cover

Front cover art for A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. The book cover art copyright is believed to belong to the publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, or the cover artist. Wikipedia

Thoughts on Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (from one who has not seen the movie) after just re-reading the book.

I personally believe that Disney did us a favor by removing all mention of God from the movie version. The name Jesus is only mentioned one time in the book, and in that instance as an equal with Euclid, DaVinci, Einstein, Gandhi, and others opposing evil. It is not a Christian book, though it promotes many Christian doctrines such as family, love, and faithfulness. It seems to be on a similar level to Harry Potter, but with Bible verses.

The writing style is very interesting. Like most books based on feelings, L’Engle gives just enough thought to the serious issues (raised on almost every page) to drive me crazy. It is well paced, with interesting action. For a very short book, Meg’s character is well developed.

Why did Disney wait so long to make this movie? The book seems to be founded on every modern Disney ideal. The protagonist is a teenage girl. Her parents are not together until the very end. Dad is a prisoner whom the children must rescue. The three spirit guides are female (Think Sleeping Beauty and her fairy guardians). One actually dresses in black like a witch. They are more powerful than any human. One of them used to be a star. Stars are living, spiritual beings in the book. There is a medium with a crystal ball, and she is called a medium. Discipline suppresses individuality. The universe is filled with planets, each one inhabited. The three children, with Calvin added to make three, all have psychic powers. Psychic powers are not only good, but necessary, to fight evil.

The book is told through Meg, the protagonist’s, feelings, a Disney’s standard formula. She is unsure of herself, yet attacks and beats up an older boy to defend her siblings. His mother calls her mother complaining that Meg injured her son. In the end it is Meg’s love for her 5 year old brother that breaks the hypnotic spell and saves him. Her love is a feeling, an emotional outburst, rather than any deeper concept as in the Scriptures.

Like C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength, earth is a silent planet being attacked by an evil psychic force. But Meg’s father is held prisoner on another planet in another solar system which is completely controlled by an evil disembodied brain called IT, which hypnotizes and requires complete obedience. In the end, they barely escape with her 5 year old brother Charles Wallace and return home to earth. Evil is left unchallenged, which cries out for a sequel.

 

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