What are some lessons that Meg learns in A Wrinkle in Time? What does she learn about herself, the world, and others?

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poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Meg Murry (the protagonist) struggles with her "unfeminine" personality and awkward appearance--not to mention her unorthodox approach to her schoolwork, which makes her teachers believe that she is "slow." Meg feels inadequate in comparison to her beautiful and capable scientist mother and her genius little brother, Charles.

After meeting Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, Meg learns of the reality of "tessering" (or time traveling) and is taken to the planet where the guides originated. There, Meg learns about the Black Thing, the evil forces which cover planets and disturb the minds and actions of people. It becomes rapidly apparent that the world around Meg is not what she thought it was; even her personal beliefs are unraveled by the new knowledge that her father (who disappeared many years before) is actually alive on another planet and in need of rescuing. 

Throughout the book, Meg is determined to rid herself of her faults, but she realizes something critical about herself when Mrs. Whatsit gives her her own faults as a "gift." Acknowledging her faults instead of running from them is an incredible act of empowerment. She is able to use one of her largest faults--her temper--in order to get angry rather than fearful when fighting off the forces of evil. 

As for others: Meg learns that she is capable of loving them and being loved by them. She is strengthened by the love of Charles and her budding romance with Calvin. This is a remarkable discovery for a girl who has otherwise felt alienated and ostracized by those around her.

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A Wrinkle in Time

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