Study Guide

A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 12

By Madeleine L'Engle

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Chapter 12

The Foolish and the Weak

  • Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which arrive in the land of the beasts.
  • Meg runs up to embrace Mrs. Whatsit, but is waved off, as the trio isn't quite materialized enough for hugging.
  • Meg thinks the starry trio is here to save the day, but Mrs. Whatsit coldly says that they can do nothing on Camazotz.
  • Mr. Murry and Calvin both offer to go back to Camazotz, but Mrs. Whatsit tells them that's crazy talk.
  • Meg finally figures out that she's the one who has to go: she's closer to Charles Wallace than anyone.
  • Mr. Murry and Calvin insist they won't let Meg go alone, but Meg and the star triplets barely notice their protests.
  • Aunt Beast offers to go too, wanting Meg to know she would even though she knows her offer will be refused.
  • Mrs. Whatsit says that the Happy Medium doesn't believe that Meg will die on Camazotz.
  • Calvin asks if she knows what's going to happen, and Mrs. Whatsit says no, not in situations like this.
  • Mrs. Whatsit explains that knowing one's fate would be like living on Camazotz, without free will. She compares life a sonnet (a form of poetry): there's a set form, but what you say is up to you.
  • Meg makes tender goodbyes with Aunt Beast, Calvin, and her father.
  • The three stars give Meg their going-away presents: Mrs. Whatsit gives her love, Mrs. Who gives a speech about God, and Mrs. Which, once Meg arrives on Camazotz, gives her the knowledge that she has something IT doesn't have.
  • Meg sets off down the hill and towards IT, through the eerily empty streets, trying to figure out what Mrs. Which meant.
  • Meg arrives, enters, gets acclimated to the enforced biological rhythm of IT, and sees Chucky chillin' with the giant brain.
  • Chucky tells her that there isn't anything she has that IT doesn't have, and that Mrs. Whatsit betrayed her by sending her to IT.
  • Meg believes this for only a moment, but then shouts out that he's lying.
  • Meg starts hating Chucky, and the hate is almost her undoing, until she realizes it and resists.
  • Chucky says that Mrs. Whatsit hates Meg, and that's when Meg gets it: she can love, but IT can't.
  • Meg starts loving Charles Wallace, the real Charles Wallace, with all her might, and he comes back to her. No more Chucky.
  • The two are swept off the planet by Mrs. Whatsit, and land – with Mr. Murry and Calvin – back home, in the Murry twins' vegetable garden.
  • Mrs. Murry and the twins come out for a massive group hug, and Fortinbras crashes through a screen door to join in.
  • Meg feels an extra love-n-joy boost, and knows Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which much be nearby.
  • She sees their shimmering presences, and Mrs. Whatsit says that they can't say a real goodbye because they have to – and disappears mid-sentence.

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