A Wrinkle in Time

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Meg is a thirteen-year-old girl who is a misfit at school, despite her unusual intelligence that the teachers can't seem to appreciate. The main source of her unhappiness, however, comes from the fact that her brilliant scientist father disappeared a number of years ago, and has made no contact with his loving, close-knit family since. With the help of her younger brother Charles Wallace and newfound friend Calvin, she embarks on an adventure with Mrs. Whatsit and co. to save her father, who is trapped on another planet by the powers of darkness.

Meg Murry Quotes in A Wrinkle in Time

The A Wrinkle in Time quotes below are all either spoken by Meg Murry or refer to Meg Murry. 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 1 Quotes

How did Charles Wallace always know about her? How could he always tell? He never knew—or seemed to care—what Dennys or Sandy were thinking. It was his mother's mind, and Meg's that he probed with frightening accuracy.

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Charles Wallace Murry, Sandy and Dennys Murry
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

One of the major concerns of A Wrinkle in Time is with powers beyond rational knowledge. This quote establishes Meg's character as someone who is perturbed when confronted with phenomena that she doesn't understand. Meg's preference for the comprehensible (as opposed to mystery) tempts her to jump to easy conclusions based on appearances, which is something Charles Wallace is less prone to. As shown in this quote, this is part of Charles Wallace's gif: understanding things about people that they aren't explicitly communicating, or knowing essential truths about other people that aren't readily apparent. Charles Wallace's gift is also important because it is not rationally explained. He has powers that nobody can exactly account for or duplicate. This is one of many nods in this book to the importance of forces beyond rationality.  

It is significant that Charles Wallace focuses his gift on characters who are the least "normal" (i.e. those who don't conform to the "rules" or expectations of society). Sandy and Dennys represent people who fit in socially, and Charles Wallace prefers to spend his energy on those who don't. As the book ultimately shows, this is because those who are able to express their individuality are those who have power. The only people who can fight evil are those who understand and respect themselves enough to not automatically conform to their surroundings. 

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Chapter 2 Quotes

"Lead on, moron," Calvin cried gaily. "I've never even seen your house, and I have the funniest feeling that for the first time in my life I'm going home!"

Related Characters: Calvin O'Keefe (speaker), Meg Murry
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

Nobody can explain why Calvin has so suddenly and completely hit it off with Charles Wallace and Meg, but the warmth between the three of them seems genuine. This is a theme throughout the book, that genuine love cannot be explained or accounted for, and its power is beyond that of reason. Calvin, having found others who are different in the way that he is (even though he has been hiding his differences in public) makes him suddenly feel a kind of familial connection that makes him feel that going to the Murry home is like going to his own home. That's a remarkable statement that shows how powerful the love between these characters is. 

It's worth noting that Calvin, unlike Meg, seems not at all perturbed by what he can't understand. He is not suspicious or dismissive of his feelings of love and joy that come from a mysterious place – he embraces them and allows them to make him happy. 

Chapter 3 Quotes

"But you're good at basketball and things," Meg protested. "You're good in school. Everybody likes you."
"For all the most unimportant reasons," Calvin said. "There hasn't been anybody, anybody in the world I could talk to. Sure, I can function on the same level as everybody else, I can hold myself down, but it isn't me."

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Calvin O'Keefe (speaker)
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

Of all the characters, it is perhaps Calvin who is most articulate about the ways in which conformity and difference affect people. Meg, for much of the book, is entrapped by the idea that she is somehow inferior because of her superficial differences from others, and Charles Wallace seems so above the notion of superficial difference that it wouldn't occur to him to talk about it this way.

Calvin, however, is a complicated character who respects and likes his own differences, but still hides them in order to fit in. Here, Meg is incredulous that Calvin could be someone other than the person he appears to be (a theme that will repeat throughout the book). Calvin lets her know that the popularity that he has attained (which she seems to crave) has come at a cost. It is significant that this cost, for Calvin, is communication--he hasn't had anyone he could talk to about the things he cares about. Something the book wants us to understand is that genuine individuality is what allows for communication and communication is what allows for love. 

"But Charles Wallace doesn't look different from anybody else."
"No, Meg, but people are more than just the way they look. Charles Wallace's difference isn't physical. It's in essence."

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Mrs. Murry (speaker), Charles Wallace Murry
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

This is another example of Meg's tendency to place too much importance on superficial appearance. Even her own brother, whom she loves deeply, is in some way unseen by her because of it – Meg doesn't understand his "essence" because she can't look past his appearance. Meg's mother, on the other hand, does understand that Charles Wallace is different, and she is able to love him for it. She recognizes that his individuality is a gift and that it has given him powers of understanding that cannot be explained.

This chapter has made it clear that Meg is uniquely adept at math. She wants the world to behave like a math problem in which you follow rules to solve a puzzle and arrive at a single right answer. That Meg's mother, a brilliant scientist, is here suggesting that things might not be that simple is important. Meg needs to hear this from many credible sources throughout the book before she can truly embrace this way of thinking.

Chapter 4 Quotes

It was a shadow, nothing but a shadow. It was not even as tangible as a cloud. Was it cast by something? Or was it a Thing in itself?...What could there be about a shadow that was terrible that she knew that there had never been before or ever would be again, anything that would chill her with a fear that was beyond shuddering, beyond crying or screaming, beyond the possibility of comfort?

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Black Thing
Page Number: 81-82
Explanation and Analysis:

Coming off the peace and joy of the experience with the singing creatures, the characters must also experience their first taste of true evil, which is The Black Thing. It is significant that a shadow is the embodiment of evil here, as a shadow is entirely immaterial. A shadow has no "essence," – it is only appearance, and the book asks readers over and over to distrust appearances.

This quote also shows that evil, like good, is difficult to confront or account for rationally. Meg does not understand what The Black Thing is or where it came from or how it works, but that does not negate its power over her and the danger it poses to society. The book instructs readers that it would be hubris to write The Black Thing off just because it is not comprehensible, just as it is hubris to try to defeat it with reason. The Black Thing is something beyond reason that must be confronted with forces that are also beyond reason.

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.

Chapter 8 Quotes

"I'm different, and I like being different." Calvin's voice was unnaturally loud.
"Maybe I don't like being different," Meg said, "but I don't want to be like everybody else, either."

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Calvin O'Keefe (speaker)
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:

Meg was introduced in Chapter 1 as someone suffering from her differences. She did not appreciate her unique talents and personality because they separated her from her peers and she thought she would be happier if she were more popular. Calvin, who knows the loneliness of popularity that comes from stifling his individuality, has a more nuanced perspective on difference – all he wants is to find people who are able to relate to him as he is rather than accept him for who he isn't.

This scene is a turning point for Meg in which she is beginning to see that it's better for her to be who she is than try to be someone else. She's not yet willing to embrace that she is different – she says that maybe she doesn't "like being different" – but she is able to articulate for the first time that she doesn't want to be like everyone else. Seeing the extreme conformity on Camazotz has given her perspective on the blessings that she has been given, which she had initially seen as a curse.

"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 10 Quotes

"You don't even know where we are!" she cried out at her father. "We'll never see Mother or the twins again! We don't know where earth is!...What are you going to do!" She did not realize that she was as much in the power of the Black Thing as Charles Wallace.

Related Characters: Meg Murry (speaker), Mr. Murry
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the book, Meg, Calvin, and Mr. Murry have tessered away from Camazotz and materialized on another planet. When Meg realizes that Charles Wallace is not with them she loses her temper at her father, whom she blames for everything that has gone wrong. Though Meg has come very far in understanding the importance of nonconformity and accepting (even embracing) her own eccentricities, she is still failing at the most important thing, love.

In A Wrinkle in Time, love for the self (which means being true to individuality) and love for others are the two most important forces for good in the world. Meg is doing better at the former than the latter in this passage – she's still not able to empathize with her father, forgive his shortcomings, and love him for exactly who he is. This failure of love is described as being "in the power of the Black Thing," which shows that L'Engle equates evil not simply with bad intentions, but even with the failure to love fully. 

Chapter 11 Quotes

It was a music more tangible than form or sight…It seemed to travel with her, to sweep her aloft in the power of song, so that she was moving in glory among the stars, and for a moment she, too, felt that the words Darkness and Light had no meaning, and only this melody was real.

Related Characters: Meg Murry
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Aunt Beast has been trying to help Meg understand the importance of love. Finally, Aunt Beast ends up embodying love and singing Meg to sleep with an indescribable song. Meg's interactions with Aunt Beast are reminiscent of her first interactions with The Mrs. W's – Meg judged them negatively based on their appearances and then began to understand that, regardless of how they look, they are forces for good. This is one of many examples of L'Engle's insistence that appearance and essence are unrelated.

This passage is also a powerful example of L'Engle's insistence that love must transcend rational language and understanding. Here, Meg has tried and failed to explain sight to Aunt Beast, who is blind. Meg winds up understanding that sight is a sense that can conceal as much as it reveals, since it shackles a person to a particular conception of the universe. Meg learns that it is not important to teach Aunt Beast about sight. By accepting this, Meg shows a newfound humility in the face of the universe's mysteries, and she also opens herself up to receive love from Aunt Beast that comes in the form of a song she can't understand. 

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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Meg Murry Character Timeline in A Wrinkle in Time

The timeline below shows where the character Meg Murry appears in A Wrinkle in Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Nonconformity Theme Icon
On a dark and stormy night, teenager Meg Murry is lying in her bed. It's not only the stormy weather that's keeping her... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Charles Wallace is another cause of Meg's concern. He's unusually intelligent (not surprising, as both their parents are brilliant), but he also... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Anticipating her thoughts, Charles has already put some hot milk on the stove for Meg. As they chat and make sandwiches for themselves, Mrs. Murry joins them. She's almost extravagantly... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...amount of brightly colored clothing. Charles seems to know her and calls her Mrs. Whatsit. Meg is very suspicious of her, considering her strange clothes and the time of night, but... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...sheets, and furthermore, that there is such a thing as a "tesseract". While Charles and Meg have no idea what this means, Mrs. Murry turns white and murmurs to herself, "How... (full context)
Chapter 2
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The next morning, Meg tries to understand what happened the night before, hoping it was a dream, but Mrs.... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
At school, Meg gets sent to the principal's office because of being sulky and belligerent in class. Mr.... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
When she returns home, Meg finds Charles waiting for her with a snack, Fortinbras on a leash, and a plan... (full context)
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Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
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As they near Mrs. Whatsit's house, Meg and Charles are surprised to run into a boy from Meg's school: Calvin O'Keefe. Meg... (full context)
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As the three of them return to the Murrys house, Meg is thoroughly confused. Charles doesn't know quite what's going on yet but says that he's... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Meg and Calvin talk as they walk to the Murrys house, and it's clear that this... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
As they wait for dinner to be ready, Meg explains to Calvin a little bit about her father, and then astounds Calvin by helping... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...read Charles a book before goes to bed (Charles requests the Book of Genesis), and Meg tentatively asks her mother if she's upset. Mrs. Murry says yes, because she misses their... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Calvin comes downstairs and takes Meg for a walk outside. He asks her more about her father, and she tells him... (full context)
Chapter 4
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A moment ago, Meg was standing with Calvin and Charles in the backyard of their house. Now, all of... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...seems to be dimmed by a dark, terrifying shadow. When they return to the ground, Meg asks Mrs. Which if that Black Thing is what her father is fighting. (full context)
Chapter 5
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...And they are going to get to him by tessering. Mrs. Whatsit then explains to Meg what a tesseract is: it's like a wrinkle in time and space, where you simply... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...doesn't allow to show in front of her children. As sad as this sight is, Meg is only inspired even more to fight the Black Thing and rescue her father. (full context)
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...here. However, she gives them three "gifts": to Calvin, his unusual ability to communicate, to Meg, her faults, and to Charles, his childhood. Mrs. Who, who, like Mrs. Which, wasn't able... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
As Meg, Charles, and Calvin walk through the neighborhood on the outskirts, they notice that every house... (full context)
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Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...worried that he won't recognize his father after not seeing him for a year, but Meg reassures him. Calvin says he's having another one of his intuitions, another compulsion (like the... (full context)
Chapter 7
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Meg, Charles, and Calvin enter the building. Inside, they ask a man how to see whoever's... (full context)
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...his mouth: the children simply hear a kind and gentle voice in their brains, though Meg senses with fear the presence of the Black Thing in him. The man's eyes have... (full context)
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Language and Knowing Theme Icon
The man with red eyes seems to have been expecting Meg and Charles, but not Calvin (who is apparently an unpleasant surprise). Still, he doesn't seem... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...pulsing eyes, and after a while, slowly begins walking towards him. At the last minute, Meg screams as she sees the irises of her brother's eyes disappearing and tackles Charles to... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...man with red eyes has a synthetic turkey dinner brought out, which tastes delicious to Meg and Calvin but like sand to Charles, because he's blocking the man entirely from accessing... (full context)
Chapter 8
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When Meg demands of the man with the red eyes what has happened to the real Charles... (full context)
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The man with red eyes asks Charles to bring Meg and Calvin to Mr. Murry, and strangely, Charles now knows his way around the building.... (full context)
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Charles then lectures 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... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
...Charles takes them to a cell, within which is a round, transparent column, within which is…Meg and Charles' father, Mr. Murry. (full context)
Chapter 9
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Meg rushes to her father, but smashes painfully into the cell wall, which she didn't realize... (full context)
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Suddenly, Meg has an intuition, and puts on Mrs. Who's glasses. With the glasses on, she's able... (full context)
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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... (full context)
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Charles leads Meg, his father, and Calvin out of the CENTRAL Central Intelligence building, through nighttime streets, and... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 10
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As Meg slowly regains consciousness, she feels like her whole body is one huge chunk of ice.... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Christian References Theme Icon
Meg eventually regains her vision and her speech, and she sees that they are on a... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...walk upright, have four arms, and tentacles in the place of fingers, ears, and hair; Meg is utterly revolted by their appearance. Calvin begins to introduce themselves and explain their situation,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...Mr. Murry is at first against it, he consents to allowing these beasts to take Meg to heal her, since they reveal that they are also fighters against the Black Thing.... (full context)
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When she wakes up, Meg finds herself in a room feeling far better than before, with the beast sitting by... (full context)
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Their discussion turns to Charles Wallace, and as soon as Meg begins blaming her father for abandoning him, the beast becomes stern, telling her: "Nobody said... (full context)
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The next morning, Meg awakens, feeling refreshed. She asks Aunt Beast about what planet they're on; it turns out... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...appeared, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which cannot fully materialize on the beasts' planet. Meg begins complaining to them about her father, but they, who clearly have a lot of... (full context)
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Meg realizes that she is the one who must rescue Charles. She feels terrified and overwhelmed,... (full context)
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Mr. Murry and Calvin immediately protest Meg going back to Camazotz alone. But they are persuaded when Mrs. Whatsit tells them that... (full context)
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The time comes for Meg to leave for Camazotz. She thanks the beasts and Aunt Beast, embraces her father lovingly,... (full context)
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Meg braces herself and sets out for the domed building where IT is waiting. All too... (full context)
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Meg stands there, gazing at Charles, and loving him. She focuses not on IT, but on... (full context)