A Wrinkle in Time

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Meg rushes to her father, but smashes painfully into the cell wall, which she didn't realize was there because it was transparent. Mr. Murry can't seem to hear or see her through the barrier. Charles sniggers, as he isn't going to allow them in, and advises them to give into IT, as he did. Calvin tries one more time to get Charles back: staring into his eyes, he quotes the passage from The Tempest that Mrs. Who gave him about Ariel in the cloven pine, and nearly manages to get through to the real Charles. Although Calvin's attempt ultimately fails, Charles seems to be almost injured by this attack, and lies whimpering on the floor.
Calvin's second attempt to get the real Charles back is nearly successful because of a Shakespeare quote. The quote refers to Ariel's refusal to obey the commands of his master Sycorax, and Calvin is trying to get Charles to do the same, to resist the commands of IT who controls his mind. However, the ultimate failure of Calvin's effort that though it is through his mind that Charles was overcome by IT, it's not another mind that can save him…
Themes
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
Suddenly, Meg has an intuition, and puts on Mrs. Who's glasses. With the glasses on, she's able to rearrange the atoms of the cell walls and of her father's column prison, and in a few seconds, she's in the arms of her father. Mr. Murry's hair has grown long and he doesn't seem able to see Meg, though he is overjoyed and surprised at her arrival. She gives him Mrs. Who's glasses, which allow him to see, and, carrying Meg in his arms, Mr. Murry exits the column.
Mrs. Who's glasses seem to symbolize clarity, the ability to see. They may also suggest the strength in difference, even in differences that are usually perceived as weaknesses, such as the need for glasses. Meg throwing herself in her father's arms and handing over the glasses indicates that she has imagined her father as a savior; she believes that if she could just free him that he would do the rest to "save the day." In this way she is still a child, with a romantic view of her father. But Mr. Murry's inability to see at all before she gives him the glasses suggests that her expectation is mistaken.
Themes
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Outside, the Charles Wallace under the control of IT awaits, displeased. Meg briefly introduces her father to Calvin. Mr. Murry then tries to talk Charles, but Charles behaves nastily towards him, and Mr. Murry can't fully grasp the extent to which this Charles isn't the real Charles since Charles changed a lot in the year he was gone. Meg assures her father that Charles is not really this way. Charles then announces that they all must be taken to IT, and commands them to go with him. Mr. Murry is fearful that Meg won't survive such an encounter with IT, but they have no choice, and go along so as not to leave Charles.
As brilliant as he is, Mr. Murry is faced with a problem his intellect can't solve: his own son, whom he can't understand because he has not been able to know and love Charles for the past year in the way that Meg has. From being away for so long Mr. Murry does not know Charles's essence, and cannot therefore the fakeness of this IT-controlled Charles.
Themes
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
Charles leads Meg, his father, and Calvin out of the CENTRAL Central Intelligence building, through nighttime streets, and into a dome-shaped building which has a roof that pulses with a violet light. Inside the building, the pulse is overwhelming, and to Meg it feels like her heart and breathing are forced to match the pulse's rhythm. The building is empty other than a round central platform on which stands IT: a disgusting oversized brain. Its pulsing dictates the rhythm of the whole building, and slowly invades Meg's consciousness.
A brain is usually seen as the epitome of knowledge and thought, of rationality. That IT is an evil entity suggests the dangers of total devotion to rationality, that pure rationality seeks to make everything rational, but in a world where everything isn't rational that desire to install rationality is in fact just a kind of tyranny, the elimination of anything non-rational or different. And the pulsing of the brain shows that effort to control others.
Themes
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
Get the entire A Wrinkle in Time LitChart as a printable PDF.
A wrinkle in time.pdf.medium
Mr. Murry shouts that they must not give into ITs efforts to control them with its pulses. To try and fight it off, Meg yells the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence. But when she says "that all men are created equal", IT, using Charles as mouthpiece, tells her that on Camazotz everyone is equal, everyone is alike. In a moment of clarity Meg is able to protest that "alike" and "equal" are not the same thing. She then tries reciting the periodic table of elements and reciting the square roots of irrational numbers with her father to keep out IT's rhythm, but IT is becoming too much for her. Calvin shouts for Mr. Murry to tesser them away, Mr. Murry grabs their wrists and does so. The tessering is so painful that Meg loses consciousness.
Meg and the others seek to ward off IT's control with quotes from great human documents that speak of liberty, but IT is able to meet such logical thoughts with logic of its own—though Meg realizes from IT's logic how awful it truly is for the people of Camazotz, who have been forced into sameness. The periodic table of the elements is too regular, too organized to offer a way to escape IT's control. Square roots of irrational numbers follow no natural order—they are seemingly random strings of digits, and so in shouting them Meg and Mr. Murry seek to combat order with disorder, rationality with irrationality. But it is still an effort to combat thought with thought, and in their failure the novel suggests that thought is not enough to defeat the pure, cold, overwhelming rationality of IT.
Themes
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon