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A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L'Engle

Fear Theme

Franklin Roosevelt said there's nothing to fear but fear itself. But fear, itself, can be pretty dang scary. A Wrinkle in Time offers a haunted house's worth of nightmare fodder: dark shadows, mysterious witches, and a disembodied brain. With all that to face, the only thing for a fraidy-cat to do is run away screaming, right? It's only the fearless heroes who could face down the monsters, right? Well, not quite. A Wrinkle in Time suggests that the bravest hero of all is not the one who fears nothing, but rather the one that faces her fears – and conquers them.

Questions About Fear

  1. What is the relationship between fear and knowledge in the novel? Is the known or the unknown scarier? Why?
  2. How does fear intersect with other emotions, such as anger, hate, and love, in the novel?
  3. What acts of bravery do the characters perform in the novel? Why are these particular acts brave? How do these experiences contribute to character development?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The novel persistently links fear to knowledge, suggesting that forewarned is forearmed.

The novel detaches fear from any specific threat (the kids are afraid of the Black Thing without knowing what it does) in order to make its evil more abstract and absolute.

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