Study Guide

A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 10

By Madeleine L'Engle

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Chapter 10

Absolute Zero

  • Meg woozily starts to hear voices, but the rest of her feels frozen solid, and she can't even open her eyes.
  • She listens to Calvin and her father talking.
  • Mr. Murry says that they thought she was dead at first, but slowly her heartbeat strengthened, and so they just need to wait.
  • Meg wants to tell them that she's alive, but she can't move or speak.
  • Calvin asks Mr. Murry how they managed to resist IT as long as they did, and Mr. Murry replies that no one's tried to stand up to IT for so long that the parts of IT's brain that counter resistance are soft and mushy.
  • Mr. Murry says that he himself was on the point of giving in when Meg tumbled into his cell.
  • Calvin asks why Mr. Murry went to Camazotz. Mr. Murry says it was a mistake: he was aiming for Mars and overshot.
  • Mr. Murry says that time is weird on Camazotz, like time has "turned in on itself" (10.23), so it's hard to tell how long things go on there.
  • Calvin asks Mr. Murry about the project he was working on, and Mr. Murry says that he was working with others, but went to Camazotz alone. There was someone else who tried out the tesseract before him, but they never heard from the man again.
  • Mr. Murry says he hopes he can get back to Earth so that he can explain to his scientific colleagues how little they really understood about what they were toying with, and how they jumped into using their new knowledge too quickly.
  • Meg manages to croak out a sound, and Calvin and her father try to revive her.
  • She gets her eyes open and mumbles out a question about where Charles Wallace is, but they don't answer.
  • Meg sees that her father and Calvin don't look cold, but she feels frozen.
  • Meg's faults are still in full flower, and she rails at her father and Calvin for leaving Charles Wallace behind and for tessering when they don't really know how to do it safely, or how to get back.
  • Meg has also been influenced by her journey through the Black Thing, and it causes her to say hurtful things to her father and Calvin.
  • Three strange figures approach: they walk upright, have four arms and long tentacle fingers, and have only indentations and tentacles where their facial features would be if they were human.
  • Calvin greets the figures politely, and Mr. Murry explains how they came to be on their planet and what's wrong with Meg.
  • One of the creatures reaches towards Meg with a tentacle; at first she's horrified, but then finds the touch soothing because it warms and comforts her.
  • The creature picks up Meg to carry her away.

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