A Wrinkle in Time Questions and Answers
by Madeleine L'Engle

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Where and why do Calvin, Charles Wallace, and Meg go with Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which in the book A Wrinkle in Time?

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Johan Dickens eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The children travel to three destinations with the mysterious women. First, before Meg and Calvin know what is happening, they find themselves whisked away, along with Charles Wallace, to the planet Uriel. During the trip, Meg loses all sensation as she floats through complete nothingness. She takes the longest to recover, and Charles is afraid that Mrs. Whatsit left her behind. Then, the three women begin to hint that the children are traveling to help Meg's father.

Mrs. Whatsit assumes her true form, a hybrid horse-human shape (yet "not like a Greek centaur. Not in the least"). Meg, Calvin, and Charles board Mrs. Whatsit, who takes them into the sky. There, they encounter the Thing for the first time. After the children and Mrs. Whatsit return to Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the entire group then travels (or rather, tessers) to Orion's Belt to visit the Happy Medium. The Medium shows the children their planet, where the Thing has been spreading for years. Then, at the children's request, she reveals their mothers. Meg, seeing her mother's despair, grows impatient to find her father.

Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit transport the children to Camazotz, where Meg's father is. After a few commands and impartations, the women depart. Meg, Charles, and Calvin must work together to help Mr. Murry and to bring him home.

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Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which first take the three young people to the planet Uriel, described as the third planet of the star Malak. They go there "to catch our breaths," as Mrs. Whatsit puts it, because it's a safe planet, but also so that the children can be shown the "Dark Thing," evil itself, that partially shadows some planets and has completely taken over other planets. The six companions then travel to a planet in Orion's belt, so that Calvin, Meg and Charles Wallace can meet the Happy Medium and see the earth in her crystal ball. They see that the earth is partially covered in darkness and yet still has goodness and light in it, brought by religious figures such as Jesus and St. Francis, and by artists and visionaries who keep hope alive. They also see that darkness can be eradicated on a planet:

Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness the Darkness disappeared. 

This happens often, the children are assured. All of this prepares them for their journey to Camazotz, a planet completely taken over by evil, to save their father.

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