A Wrinkle in Time

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IT is a gigantic, disgusting brain that controls the minds of all the inhabitants of Camazotz and does all the thinking for them. IT is pure evil, total Darkness, and is what captured Mr. Murry when he tessered to Camazotz by accident some time before the action of the book begins. IT, which claims to have all intelligence and all efficiency, is vulnerable only to the one thing it lacks: love.

IT Quotes in A Wrinkle in Time

The A Wrinkle in Time quotes below are all either spoken by IT or refer to IT. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Nonconformity Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Square Fish edition of A Wrinkle in Time published in 2007.
Chapter 6 Quotes

"We are the most oriented city on the planet. There has been no trouble of any kind for centuries. All Camazotz knows our record. That is why we are the capital city of Camazotz. That is why CENTRAL Central Intelligence is located here. That is why IT makes ITs home here." There was something about the way he said "IT" that made a shiver run up and down Meg's spine.

Related Characters: IT (speaker), Meg Murry
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, the paper boy on Camazotz is explaining to Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin the nature of the city in which they have found themselves. His description is chilling to the characters because it is a dystopian vision of perfect conformity and efficiency that evokes sinister government bureaucracy and the all-consuming power of technology. The Mrs. W's have just finished explaining that the forces for good in the universe are love and individuality, but Camazotz is the opposite. Instead of valuing artists, it values people who conform strictly to norms and don't make trouble. Human relationships on Camazotz are governed by impersonal bureaucracy rather than love. 

This scene also gives information about the specific enemies that the characters are up against. The boy's ominous mentions of IT and Central Intelligence imply the particular kind of trouble that Mr. Murry is in. Camazotz is the embodiment of evil, and this scene lets us know subtly that if these characters are going to save themselves and Mr. Murry they will have to do so by sticking with love and individuality instead of conforming to the relentless norms of Camazotz.


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Chapter 8 Quotes

"Nobody suffers here," Charles intoned. "Nobody is ever unhappy."
"But nobody's ever happy, either," Meg said earnestly. "Maybe if you aren't unhappy sometimes you don't know how to be happy."

Related Characters: Charles Wallace Murry (speaker), IT (speaker), Meg Murry
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Charles Wallace's body (though not him as a person, as his essence is different than his appearance) is trying to talk Meg and Calvin into submitting to the conformity of Camazotz. He does this by offering the kind of easy happiness that The Man with the Red Eyes offered. This is a moment in which Meg is beginning to realize that the kinds of easy solutions that she craves are not always the correct ones (in contrast to math, which she is so good at).

She begins to understand that happiness and unhappiness are linked – you can't have one without the other because they exist in relation to one another. In a way, this is another case of deceptive appearances. The Man with the Red Eyes promises that everyone is happy on Camazotz and there is no suffering or pain. However, even if people on Camazotz were always happy, that happiness would lose its meaning in the absence of all different kinds of emotions. In other words, just like it's important to have many different kinds of people in the world, it is also important to have many different emotions.

Chapter 9 Quotes

"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!"

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Charles Wallace Murry (speaker), IT (speaker)
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Meg is reciting the Declaration of Independence in order to fight off IT. She believes that this document can be an effective weapon against IT because it is the foundational document of a society built on individuality and freedom of expression. When she says that "all men are created equal," though, IT tries to manipulate those words by twisting them to support IT's point of view.

However, when he tells Meg that everyone on Camazotz is equal because they are exactly alike, Meg recognizes that this is nonsense, and she tells him that "like and equal are not the same." This is important growth in Meg's character – at the beginning of the book, Meg would have liked to be like everyone else. However, now that she has seen the dystopian society on Camazotz, she understands that her values need to change to embrace nonconformity.

Chapter 12 Quotes

Charles. Charles, I love you. My baby brother who always takes care of me. Come back to me, Charles Wallace, come away from IT, come back, come home. I love you, Charles. Oh, Charles Wallace, I love you.

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Charles Wallace Murry, IT
Page Number: 229
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Meg is alone on Camazotz fighting IT to save Charles Wallace. It is here that she finally realizes the power and importance of love. In previous attempts to save Charles Wallace, the characters focused on individuality, reciting the Declaration of Independence, for instance, in order to set him free. While these attempts nearly worked, none was powerful enough to combat IT. In this final attempt, Meg realizes that the only force powerful enough to combat IT is love, since love is something that IT lacks entirely. Meg realizes that she must abandon all commitment to rationality and focus simply on loving her brother, which she does successfully.

This is the ultimate vindication of the power of love, as L'Engle posits that love is literally the only force in the universe that can combat evil. The arc of the book suggests that the embrace of love comes in several forms – first is love of the self, which includes accepting one's own nonconformity, and second is turning that love outward to others. As the book's characters demonstrate, this kind of love is contagious, in that it teaches the recipients of love to love themselves and others in turn. 

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IT Character Timeline in A Wrinkle in Time

The timeline below shows where the character IT appears in A Wrinkle in Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Nonconformity Theme Icon
...no trouble there for centuries, and that is the location of CENTRAL Central Intelligence, where IT makes ITs home. The children have no idea what any of that means, but the... (full context)
Chapter 7
Nonconformity Theme Icon
...mutters something about how he doesn't want to get in trouble and have to see IT. He feeds some papers into a wall, and the wall suddenly disappears to give way... (full context)
Chapter 8
Nonconformity Theme Icon
...them that rather than search for Mr. Murry, Calvin and Meg should give in to IT. He notes how happy everyone is on Camazotz: how no one ever suffers because they... (full context)
Chapter 9
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Language and Knowing 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... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Chapter 10
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...the tesseract. He adds that he was about to lose hope and give in to IT when the children rescued him. (full context)
Chapter 12
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...but Mrs. Whatsit forbids it, saying that he would have to go so deep into IT to save Charles that Calvin himself would be lost. A silence follows. (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Meg braces herself and sets out for the domed building where IT is waiting. All too soon she arrives, the building sucks her in, and she feels... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Meg stands there, gazing at Charles, and loving him. She focuses not on IT, but on her own brother who she loves more than anything else in the world.... (full context)