A Wrinkle in Time


Madeleine L'Engle

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Themes and Colors
Nonconformity Theme Icon
The Value of Love Theme Icon
Deceptive Appearances Theme Icon
Language and Knowing Theme Icon
Christian References Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Wrinkle in Time, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


At the beginning of the book, Meg is unhappy because she doesn't fit in at school, and desperately wishes she could be the same as everyone else. She's smarter than most kids, but her unorthodox way of thinking is not understood by her school, and she reacts by being sulky and stubborn. Her five-year-old brother, Charles Wallace, is also made fun of for being abnormally intelligent and different. But then the two meet Calvin

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The Value of Love

While Meg focuses on her unhappiness at her father's absence and her problems at school, Calvin must remind her how lucky she is to have a family like hers in which there is so much love. Meg's love for her father enables to her to undertake the journey with the Mrs. W's in the first place, and Meg's love for Charles Wallace is the weapon with which she is able to save Charles Wallace and…

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Deceptive Appearances

Whether looking at Mrs. Whatsit, Aunt Beast, Camazotz, or even Meg Murry, one cannot trust appearances. As Mrs. Murry said of Charles Wallace to Meg, "…people are more than just the way they look. Charles Wallace's difference isn't physical. It's in essence." Frumpy looking Mrs. Whatsit is in reality a gorgeous centaur-like fallen star, tentacled Aunt Beast is a warm, motherly figure, and Camazotz, as innocuous as it looks when first landed…

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Language and Knowing

If Meg thought comprehending her and Charles Wallace's differences was hard, understanding the people and planets of a universe she never knew existed outside Earth is even more difficult. The Mrs. W's communicate in ways of their own—Mrs. Who, for example, hasn't really mastered the human language, so she quotes often from great authors to get her point across. Indeed many of the characters—Meg, Mrs. Whatsit, Mr. Murry—incorporate Shakespeare, Scripture…

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Christian References

Though not an overtly Christian work (there are no priests, churches or religious ceremonies), there are many Scriptural quotations in A Wrinkle in Time. Christ is cited as one of the great warriors of light, next to the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Beethoven, and many different books of the Bible are quoted alongside of Shakespeare and Goethe and others. Underlying all of this is the author's belief that the core beliefs of…

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