Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time"[Mrs. Whatsit] looked steadily at each of the three children in turn. "You will need help," she told them, "but all I am allowed to give you is a little talisman ... Meg, I give you your faults."

"My faults!" Meg cried ... "But I'm always trying to get rid of my faults!"

"Yes," Mrs. Whatsit said. "However, I think you'll find they'll come in very handy on Camazotz."

At the beginning of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time Meg Murry has a missing father, trouble at school, and a beloved (but strange) baby brother, Charles Wallace. She can't seem to fit anyone's expectations, not even her own and her emotions are all snarled up. One moment she hates herself, the next everyone in the world around her.

"She wasn't usually afraid of weather. -It's not just the weather, she thought. -It's the weather on top of everything else. On top of me. On top of Meg Murry doing everything wrong."

Meg longs to be beautiful like her mother, skilled at getting along like her twin brothers, calmer and in control of her emotions like Charles Wallace. Anything other than what she sees herself to be, in fact. A vital part of Meg's personal journey, though, is learning to accept herself. Her success against the evil force controlling Camazotz is contingent on discovering her unique strengths, which cannot happen without first recognizing the value of the qualities that she has always considered to be flaws.

"...everywhere she looked, everywhere she turned, was the rhythm, and as it continued to control the systole and diastole of her heart, the intake and outlet of her breath, the red miasma began to creep before her eyes again, and she was afraid that she was going to lose consciousness, and if she did that she would be completely in the power of IT.

Mrs. Whatsit had said, "Meg, I give you your faults."

What were her greatest faults? Anger, impatience, stubbornness. Yes, it was to her faults that she turned to save herself now."

I thought Francesca Battistelli's Free To Be Me conveyed the importance of self-acceptance very well.

"I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own I'm so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I'm free to be me
Sometimes I believe
That I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I've got nothing good to bring

But You look at my heart and you tell me
That I've got all You seek

Book: A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
Music: Free To Be Me, Francesca Battistelli


Jaleh D said...

I always loved A Wrinkle In Time, because I saw myself as Meg. I didn't have the family she had, but I didn't fit in at school. Too bad there was no Calvin or the three Mrs. W's to help me personally, but the story gave me hope.

It's one of the best MG stories I know.

Jennifer said...

When I was writing this post I actually had to keep ripping out segments where I'd segue into how much I'd identified with Meg when I was that age. Then I'd remember - oh, that's right - the post isn't about that, and have to delete, delete, delete. :D

Meg is wonderful and reading about her was comforting and hopeful to a weird little girl with glasses and a reading habit, like I was. And, oh, that Calvin - what I wouldn't have given back then to have had my very own Calvin. *sigh*

Wendi said...

I just love your concept on this blog. Very, very cool.

Marty said...

This was the book that got me started down the road of fantasy and paranormal...and yet I still haven't read the whole series. Heck! I just recently learned that there's a book four.


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