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A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

by Madeleine L'Engle

Time Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

Her father: "Yes. It's a frightening as well as an exciting thing to discover that matter and energy are the same thing, that size is an illusion, and that time is a material substance. We can know this, but it's far more than we can understand with our puny little brains. I think you will be able to comprehend far more than I. And Charles Wallace even more than you." (10.36)

Charles Wallace may understand this, but we don't. In any case, if such standard building blocks of making sense of the world like "size" are illusions, does that mean our experience of reality is no better than Meg's experience of Camazotz's finest turkey dinner?

Quote #8

Something completely and indescribably and incredibly delicious was put to Meg's lips, and she swallowed gratefully. With each swallow she felt strength returning to her body, and she realized that she had had nothing to eat since the horrible fake turkey dinner on Camazotz which she had barely tasted. How long ago was her mother's stew? Time no longer had any meaning. (11.64)

While we may have an ongoing sense of time passing, our internal clocks are so unreliable (who hasn't experienced a class period that went on forever, or a date that was over far too soon?) that without something external to time ourselves against, we're adrift in the sea of time. This really underscores how dependent we are on external cues like the sun or an alarm clock to gauge the passage of time.

Quote #9

"We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. But the things which are not seen are eternal." (11.85)

Aunt Beast again links time with the material world, but also suggests that there is something beyond – but what would that be?

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