A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wrinkle in Time Appearances Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
He was dressed like Charles Wallace; he looked like Charles Wallace; he had the same sandy brown hair, the same face that had not yet lost its baby roundness. Only the eyes were different, for the black was still swallowed up in blue. But it was far more than this that made Meg feel that Charles Wallace was gone, that the little boy in his place was only a copy of Charles Wallace, only a doll. (8.1)
Creepy, in the way only eerily realistic dolls can be. This episode recalls Mrs. Murry's earlier description of Charles Wallace as much more than his appearance. It's interesting too that Meg thinks this before she gets a gander at his personality transplant – it's not how he acts, it's not how he looks, but there's something else that is Charles that this fake version is missing.
One of them came up to Meg and squatted down on its huge haunches beside her, and she felt utter loathing and revulsion as it reached out a tentacle to touch her face.
But with the tentacle came the same delicate fragrance that moved across her with the breeze, and she felt a soft, tingling warmth go all through her that momentarily assuaged her pain. She felt suddenly sleepy.
I must look as strange to it as it looks to me, she thought drowsily, and then realized with a shock that of course the beast couldn't see her at all. Nevertheless a reassuring sense of safety flowed through her with the warmth which continued to seep deep into her as the beast touched her. Then it picked her up, cradling her in two of its four arms. (10.86-88)
Meg's other senses don't play her false the way her sight does – smell and touch give her a more accurate sense of the beasts than vision. Meg realizes that appearance is relative, and so is normality – something the self-loathing Meg huddled in the attic at the book's beginning wasn't able to see.
But she realized now that here on this planet there was no need for color, that the grays and browns merging into each other were not what the beasts knew, and that what she, herself, saw was only the smallest fraction of what the planet was really like. It was she who was limited by her senses, not the blind beasts, for they must have senses of which she could not even dream. (11.74)
It's not just that the beasts have more senses than Meg, it's also that the senses she does have deceive her, like her sight did with her first impression of the beasts. As with Mrs. Whatsit's multifaceted identity, there's a reality out there that Meg can't access because her body and mind just aren't set up to do so.