A Wrinkle in Time

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Mrs. Murry Character Analysis

A beautiful, brilliant scientist with a wonderful family, Mrs. Murry does her best to lovingly take care of her children while her husband has mysteriously disappeared on government business, and hides her unhappiness at his absence. The children love her dearly in return, and are partly inspired by their love for their mother and their knowledge of her unhappiness in their quest to save their father.

Mrs. Murry Quotes in A Wrinkle in Time

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

"The tesseract—" Mrs. Murry whispered. "What did she mean? How could she have known?"

Related Characters: Mrs. Murry (speaker)
Related Symbols: Tesseract
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

This is yet another instance of communication that goes beyond reason. Nobody in Meg's family can explain who this woman is or why she knows anything about the tesseract, which clearly has extreme significance for Mrs. Murry. This scene is another indication that the book will concern itself with the power of knowledge that is not easily explained. It's important to note, too, that Meg is skeptical of Mrs. Whatsit because of her appearance. Meg's concern with what Mrs. Whatsit looks like – her concern about how Mrs. Whatsit doesn't conform – blinds her to the importance of Mrs. Whatsit's presence or knowledge.

This quote is also important because it introduces the tesseract, which is a potent symbol in the book, as well as an engine of its sci-fi plot. While the reader does not yet know what the tesseract is, it is later revealed that the tesseract is a technology that scientists (believing too much in their own ability to reason through any problem) accidentally misused. This has placed the earth (and Mr. Murry) in grave danger, which thematizes the danger of placing too much faith in reason and giving too little respect to the unknown and unknowable.


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Chapter 3 Quotes

"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.

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Mrs. Murry Character Timeline in A Wrinkle in Time

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. 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
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...hot milk on the stove for Meg. As they chat and make sandwiches for themselves, Mrs. Murry joins them. She's almost extravagantly beautiful—unlike Meg, who is plain with mousy brown hair—and loves... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
Suddenly, their dog, Fortinbras, growls at the door (it's still storming furiously outside), and Mrs. Murry goes out to investigate, bringing back in an old woman covered in an absurd amount... (full context)
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
As Mrs. Murry calmly helps Mrs. Whatsit to take her water-filled boots off, Mrs. Whatsit reveals out of... (full context)
Chapter 2
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...Meg tries to understand what happened the night before, hoping it was a dream, but Mrs. Murry steadily tells her that "one thing I've learned is that you don't have to understand... (full context)
Chapter 3
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...that this is the beginning of a close friendship. When they arrive at the Murrys, Mrs. Murry warmly welcomes Calvin as she cooks a stew over a Bunsen burner in her lab,... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...astounds Calvin by helping him out with his math homework (he's several grades above her). Mrs. Murry explains that Mr. Murry used to play math games with Meg, hence her advanced understanding.... (full context)
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
...(Charles requests the Book of Genesis), and Meg tentatively asks her mother if she's upset. Mrs. Murry says yes, because she misses their father so much, and Mrs. Whatsit's mention of the... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...they see Calvin's mother, she is unkempt and beating one of Calvin's younger siblings, and Mrs. Murry is sitting in her lab, writing to Mr. Murry like she does every night, and... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...back home in the Murry's backyard, along with Calvin and Mr. Murry! The twins and Mrs. Murry come out at once to investigate the ruckus, and they all share a joyful family... (full context)