Discussion Topic

Meg's impatience in A Wrinkle in Time


In A Wrinkle in Time, Meg's impatience is a key character trait that drives her actions. She struggles with frustration and a desire for immediate solutions, often leading to rash decisions. This impatience reflects her internal conflicts and growth throughout the story as she learns to balance her impulsiveness with patience and understanding.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Which chapter in A Wrinkle in Time shows Meg's impatience?

Impatience is one of Meg's numerous negative character traits, and she displays it on a number of occasions throughout the story. An example of this comes in chapter 1. Meg is at school, vegetating in social studies class, and the teacher asks her to identify the principal imports and exports of Nicaragua. Meg doesn't really see the point of all this:

"Who cares about the imports and exports of Nicaragua, anyhow?" she muttered.

If Meg's going to be rude, says the teacher, then she may leave the room. Meg doesn't need a second invitation and flounces out of class without a moment's hesitation. Her impatience has got the better of her once again. She is clearly a troubled girl. Yes, she's incredibly clever, but her impatience and her negative attitude towards schoolwork are seriously holding her back. The school principal, Mr. Jenkins, politely suggests that Meg needs to do something about herself if she's going to turn things round. But there is precious little evidence of that as Meg bawls out Mr. Jenkins when he broaches the subject of her absent father.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How is Meg depicted as impatient in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle?

Meg reveals her impatience early in the novel when she tackles a boy from school who calls Charles Wallace "dumb" and gets a black eye as a result of her efforts. But it is on Camazotz that her impatience shows itself most fully. She doesn't want to linger when they arrive. She wants to get straight to her father and save him.

She is ready to jump out of her skin when she Charles Wallace and Calvin arrive at the Central Central Intelligence Agency. The Man with Red Eyes says to her:

"My, but the little miss is impatient! Patience, patience, young lady." Meg did not tell the man on the chair that patience was not one of her virtues.

Mrs. Whatsit tells her she needs to lean into her "faults" to help her fight IT and the evil that covers the planet Camazotz. When Meg tries to think what her greatest faults are, she comes up with the following: 

Anger, impatience, stubbornness. Yes, it was to her faults that she turned to save herself now.

Because of her impatience, she is not going to wait or rest to save her father. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on