Why is Meg Murry important in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Meg Murry is essential in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time because she is the protagonist. Just as all protagonists, Meg does a great deal of evolving as the story progresses. She starts out as an awkward, immature high school student who is threatened by her teachers to be dropped by a grade and is angry about her father's disappearance. Meg's first transformation begins to take place when she first starts a friendship with popular, athletic Calvin who even shows romantic interest in Meg, telling her her eyes are beautiful. As the story progresses and Meg embarks on a journey to find her father with her gifted youngest brother Charles Wallace, Calvin, and the Mesdames Whatsit, Which, and Who, Meg develops further into the one who is strong enough to rescue both her father and Charles from IT. Through discovering that Mrs. Whatsit was actually once a star that died fighting the Dark Thing, Meg realizes that Mrs. Whatsit is "only the tiniest facet of all things Mrs. Whatsit could be," just like Meg is only the tiniest facet of all things she could be, something she discovers as she is called to rescue her father and Charles Wallace. She is able to rescue her father when she remembers to use Mrs. Who's spectacles, which allow her to break through the column. Then wearing Mrs. Who's spectacles, her father is able to see Meg and carry her through the column in his arms. Calvin then commands them to tesser but unfortunately leave behind Charles who has become controlled by IT. Mesdames Whatsit, Who, and Which all agree that only Megan can successfully rescue Charles Wallace because only she has a strong enough emotional and mental bond with him. The Mesdames also arm Meg with the gift of love, showing Meg it is the one thing she has that IT does not. Meg calls out to Charles in love and is able to free him from IT. Hence, as we see, Meg is important because she evolves from an awkward teenager to one who accepts herself, her differences, and knows the power of love, all of which are central themes in the book.

steamgirl | Student

The key to most great novels is the simplicity of the protagonist. The main character needs to at least start out like every normal person in the world for the story to be believable and relatable. Meg, although has extraordinary relatives, is just like every girl her age, confused and a little awkward. Meg was important for drawing the reader in and making us feel as if we could relate to the story and maybe even live it. She aloud for the "any regular person can do the extraordinary" rule in writing that often produces great cultural works. This rule was used in making Star Wars, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Beowolf, etc. It is a simple recipe of normal person destined for greatness/ saving many people.