Study Guide

A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 8

By Madeleine L'Engle

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Chapter 8

The Transparent Column

  • Charles Wallace looks the same, except for his eyes. Still, Meg feels like he's a weird version of himself. We'll call him Chucky.
  • Calvin and Meg grab Chucky's hands as he tells them that it's the man with the red eyes they should trust, not those crazy star-ladies.
  • Chucky pulls his hand away from Meg's with superhuman strength. She then goes for the man, but one of his minions holds her back.
  • Calvin tackles Chucky, but three more of the man's minions pull him off the boy.
  • Chucky tells them that the man is their father's friends, and Meg says she'll believe that when she hears it from her father – unless her dad is hypnotized as Chucky seems to be.
  • Chucky tells Meg that she should just stop resisting and relax into the perfect order of Camazotz.
  • Calvin tells the man to stop talking to them through Chucky. He might as well just speak to them himself.
  • Calvin asks the man who or what he is, but all the man will tell them is that he is the Prime Coordinator.
  • The man tells them that Chucky will take them to Mr. Murry, and the trio sets off.
  • Meg wants to grab Calvin's hand, but realizes she's been relying too much on others' handholding, and decides to be brave all by herself.
  • Meg reminds Calvin that his gift is communication, and tells him to try to communicate with the real Charles Wallace.
  • Calvin makes the attempt, and almost gets through, but only manages to anger whatever it is that's controlling Chucky.
  • Chucky tells them more about the wonders of Camazotz: there's no illness because anyone with the slightest sniffle is slaughtered, but there's no murder on Camazotz because IT controls everything.
  • Chucky makes a wall open up to take them into an elevator. He explains that since matter is mostly empty space it's simple to rearrange the atoms to make room for people to get through.
  • Chucky explains that difference is the source of suffering, and that by getting rid of difference the people of Camazotz are happier.
  • Meg replies that maybe she doesn't like being different, but she sure wouldn't want to be the same as everyone else either.
  • Meg asks Chucky about IT, and he explains that IT is the boss.
  • Chucky again goes on about how everyone sharing one mind – IT's mind – means that there are no arguments or wars or traffic accidents. Everyone is perfectly happy because they don't have to suffer all the hardships of individuality.
  • Chucky says that on Camazotz no one ever suffers, no one is ever unhappy. Meg replies that they must never be happy either – you have to be unhappy sometimes to be able to recognize happiness.
  • Calvin agrees with Meg – this life on Camazotz is true evil.
  • Chucky speeds up, and as they rush down the hall they spot a small boy in a room bouncing a ball – the same boy they saw having trouble with the ball earlier.
  • Now he's bouncing the ball in rhythm with the pulsating walls of his cell, and screaming in pain every time he does.
  • Chucky snickers that after this the boy won't want to try any fancy tricks with ball ever again.
  • They come to another room, and Chucky waves his hand to make the wall transparent.
  • They look in and see a transparent column in the middle of the room, and in that column is a man – Mr. Murry.

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