A Wrinkle in Time

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The Happy Medium Character Analysis

Before going to the dark planet, Camazotz, the Mrs. W's take the children to see the Happy Medium, who lives on a planet on Orion's belt and who can show them in her crystal ball things that are happening all over the universe. The Medium shows them the evil that is happening, but also the good that is being done to fight the evil, so that the children can achieve a happy medium in their outlook going in to fight the Black Thing.

The Happy Medium Quotes in A Wrinkle in Time

The A Wrinkle in Time quotes below are all either spoken by The Happy Medium or refer to The Happy Medium. 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 5 Quotes

The Medium lost the delighted smile she had worn till then. "Oh, why must you make me look at unpleasant things when there are so many delightful ones to see?"
Again Mrs. Which's voice reverberated through the cave. "Therre will nno llonggerr bee sso many pplleasanntt thinggss too llookk att iff rressponssible ppeoplle ddo nnott ddoo ssomethingg abboutt thee unnppleasanntt oness."

Related Characters: Mrs. Which (speaker), The Happy Medium (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Black Thing
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

This is an example, again, of how focusing on appearances can lead people astray. The Happy Medium does not want to look at unpleasant things because it feels better to look at pleasant ones. Mrs. Which has the wisdom to acknowledge that even though it might be nicer to look at good things, the essences of those things are threatened by the essence of evil. Because of that, it is important to think beyond what is superficially pleasing and consider how to preserve the things we love and enjoy. As Mrs. Which suggests, this involves deep engagement with bad things. 

This scene is another one in which language is treated as more superficial than essence. Puns (like Mrs. Which appearing as a witch) are jokes about language itself, rather than about the concepts language attempts to evoke. This is also the case with The Happy Medium – Meg's mother wondered aloud in the first chapter if Meg would ever find "a happy medium." Of course, her mother's statement referred to Meg's inability to control her thoughts and actions, and the "Happy Medium" that Meg has found is a person. Language, here, is not corresponding to concepts as we thought it would, which shows that language is itself independent of the essence of the thing it represents. Later this idea will tie into the characters' inability to defeat evil through language and rationality.


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The Happy Medium Character Timeline in A Wrinkle in Time

The timeline below shows where the character The Happy Medium appears in A Wrinkle in Time. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Nonconformity Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
...enter a dark stone cavern, Mrs. Whatsit explains that they're there to visit the Happy Medium. The Medium looks rather like a fortune-teller with a crystal ball, but she shows the... (full context)
Chapter 6
Christian References Theme Icon
...watch the battle between a star and the darkness in the ball of the Happy Medium. The star, in a great burst of light, gives its life to destroy the Darkness... (full context)
The Value of Love Theme Icon
As a parting gift, the Medium shows the children their mothers; this turns out to be not as happy a thing... (full context)
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
The three Mrs. W's and the three children then leave the Happy Medium, and tesser to Camazotz, the dark planet on which Mr. Murry is held captive. This... (full context)
Chapter 12
Nonconformity Theme Icon
The Value of Love Theme Icon
...alone. But they are persuaded when Mrs. Whatsit tells them that she and the Happy Medium have both seen that for Meg to go alone is the only way Charles may... (full context)