A Wrinkle in Time
How we cite our quotes:
The gentle words, the feeling that this beast would be able to love her no matter what she said or did, lapped Meg in warmth and peace. She felt a delicate touch of tentacle to her cheek, as tender as her mother's kiss. (11.62)
It seems what Meg wants is unconditional love, even though she's not so good at giving it herself: she acts like she hates her father when he doesn't live up to her standards. Perhaps this example from Aunt Beast helps set Meg back on the right track.
Meg's tears stopped as abruptly as they had started. "But I do understand." She felt tired and unexpectedly peaceful. Now the coldness that, under Aunt Beast's ministrations, had left her body had also left her mind. She looked toward her father and her confused anger was gone and she felt only love and pride. She smiled at him, asking forgiveness, and then pressed up against Aunt Beast. This time Aunt Beast's arm went around her. (12.32)
If the Black Thing drains all the love out of Meg, does that mean that love is linked to that other thing the Black Thing seeks to destroy, independent identity? Is it possible to love someone in a world where everyone is exactly the same?
"Mrs. Whatsit hates you," Charles Wallace said.
And that was where IT made ITs fatal mistake, for as Meg said, automatically, "Mrs. Whatsit loves me; that's what she told me, that she loves me," suddenly she knew.
That was what she had that IT did not have.
She had Mrs. Whatsit's love, and her father's, and her mother's, and the real Charles Wallace's love, and the twins', and Aunt Beast's.
And she had her love for them.
But how could she use it? What was she meant to do?
If she could give love to IT perhaps it would shrivel up and die, for she was sure that IT could not withstand love. But she, in all her weakness and foolishness and baseness and nothingness, was incapable of loving IT. Perhaps it was not too much to ask of her, but she could not do it.
But she could love Charles Wallace. (12.135-144)
And so Charles Wallace is saved through the power of love. (Cue soaring violins.) But why does this work? Why is not doing anything, just standing still and loving Charles Wallace, enough to extract him from IT's clutches?