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Summary of the conflict, plot, and theme in "A Wrinkle in Time"

Summary:

The conflict in "A Wrinkle in Time" involves Meg Murry's quest to rescue her father from an evil force threatening the universe. The plot follows Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and friend Calvin as they travel through space and time, guided by three mysterious beings. The theme centers on the battle between good and evil, emphasizing love, courage, and the importance of individuality.

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What is the conflict in A Wrinkle in Time?

The basic conflict in this novel is good versus evil, with evil manifested as mindless conformity and good as individualistic thinking, love, loyalty, and free will.

The planet Camazotz is completely shrouded in darkness, which means it has been overtaken by evil. Unfortunately, Mr. Murry is being held prisoner on this planet. His children Meg and and Charles Wallace, along with their friend Calvin, have to go to Camazotz to free him without having their minds taken over and controlled by IT, the machine that runs the planet with factory precision. Resisting IT is a difficult proposition.

The book argues that it is individuality, independent decision-making, and the ability to love that allows people to be free—and to be free opens the possibility of moral goodness. The entire universe is waging an epic battle between good (free will and love) and evil (soulless mind control).

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What is the conflict in A Wrinkle in Time?

There are multiple conflicts in A Wrinkle in Time. The major conflict is the struggle between good and evil.

The first problem presented in the story is the fact that Meg's father is missing. This leads to conflicts at school, as there are rumors that Meg's dad left his family. Other conflicts at school include Meg fighting with another student who insults her brother, and Meg's teachers suggesting that she be held back a year. This also adds to Meg's internal conflict of not believing in herself.

Meg learns that her father is fighting the Dark Thing, and along with Charles Wallace and Calvin, she must join the fight in order to save him. The Dark Thing has been moving in on Earth for a long time, and people like Buddha and Bach have been fighting it.

On Camazotz, the man with the red eyes gains control of Charles Wallace. They find Meg's father and are able to break him out of the cell, but now they must face IT. Meg is almost taken by IT, until Mr. Murray "tessers" them out of there. This causes conflict between Meg and her father, as she is angry her father left Charles Wallace behind.

Meg is the only one who can save Charles Wallace. This is the major conflict of her using love to face off against the forces of evil. It also causes Meg to face her internal conflict, as she must believe in herself and embrace the love in her life.

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What is the conflict in A Wrinkle in Time?

An internal conflict that readers should recognize early on is Meg's self-confidence struggles. She is exceptionally bright; however, she doesn't fit in. She is an outcast and doesn't fit in with her peers. It wouldn't be an internal struggle if Meg was good with that; however, Meg is very much bothered by this. When readers are introduced to Meg, we get to see her telling her cat that she thinks she is an unintelligent, ugly "monster." These self-confidence conflicts eventually boil over and become external conflicts. Meg fights with others and challenges authority. Another conflict for Meg is her struggle with whether or not to trust Calvin O'Keefe. The main external conflict is the fight against IT and the forces of evil.

IT was the most horrible, the most repellent thing she had ever seen, far more nauseating then anything she had ever imagined with her conscious mind, or that had ever tormented her in her most terrible nightmares.

It is a dramatic fight, but Meg is ultimately victorious because she discovers that she has a weapon that IT does not have. Meg has love.

Love. That was what she had that IT did not have.

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What is the conflict in A Wrinkle in Time?

The external conflict in its largest sense is evil. The black cloud that Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace see is evil itself, according to Mrs. Whatsit. This same cloud surrounds Earth, making it a “shadowed” planet. On Camazotz, the people have given in entirely to IT, which is the personification of the evil that is the cloud. This is what Meg and the others must fight to rescue Mr. Murry from imprisonment.

The internal conflict is facing the evil with the strength of love. Mrs. Whatsit tells Meg, before she goes back to Camazotz, that she gives her her faults, one of which is impatience. Meg must use that impatience to give her the strength to rescue Charles Wallace, who through his own pride has given in to IT, thinking that he could control the experience. Meg faces her internal conflict of doubt and succeeds in her quest.

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What is the conflict in A Wrinkle in Time?

Meg Murry is the protagonist in A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, and she experiences many conflicts throughout the novel.

The most significant earthly conflict Meg experiences is in school. She is exceptionally bright and does not fit in; she is an outcast among her peers and Meg often challenges authority and gets in trouble for it.

One other slight conflict is with Calvin O'Keefe, a boy who does seem to be anything like her but expresses his interest. Meg is conflicted about trusting this young man or not. 

Her other-worldly conflict is much more serious, as she must fight the forces of evil (in the form of IT) to retrieve her father and save her brother, Charles-Wallace.

IT was the most horrible, the most repellent thing she had ever seen, far more nauseating then anything she had ever imagined with her conscious mind, or that had ever tormented her in her most terrible nightmares.

It is a costly battle and Meg suffers during the showdown; however, she is victorious because she fights with the help of others, though she must actually face her foe alone. In essence she (and her brother and Calvin) are the good which defeats the greatest evil.

Perhaps the biggest conflict Meg experiences is internal. When she goes back to Camazotz alone to rescue Charles Wallace, one of the "good witches" (Mrs. Which) tells Meg she has a weapon to fight IT but Meg must discover what it is on her own.

Love. That was what she had that IT did not have. 

She wins her internal battle when she discovers that her greatest weapon is love.

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What is the conflict in A Wrinkle in Time?

At the beginning of A Wrinkle in Time, Meg Murry is not at all confident of her abilities in general. She does not feel intelligent; her teachers make it clear they don't think she is very bright. Meg compares her looks to her mother's, and is not happy in that area, either. She knows, though, that she has a special link to her younger brother, Charles Wallace. Their father, a physicist, is missing, and although they and their friend Calvin go to some strange places to try to rescue him, Meg does not have any confidence that she has any ability to save him. She believes that it will be their father that saves them and defeats the evil that has him prisoner.

When the evil engulfs Charles Wallace and almost traps the three children and their father, Meg is almost killed. She realizes that her father is not the one who can save them, and that she is the one with the connection to Charles Wallace that can defeat the evil. Meg will not give up, and this stubbornness is yet another supposed flaw that helps her. She finally understands that while she has been trying to defeat the evil with more hate, that neither that nor intelligence is what can defeat the evil. It is what she has, and the evil does not, that defeats it--the power of love. This is Meg's strength, and with it she saves them all.

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What is the plot of "A Wrinkle in Time"?

On the surface, A Wrinkle In Time is about a remarkable young girl who, along with her younger brother, goes off in search of their missing father. The children fear that he is in danger and the two, along with a friend, seek to find him and save him. In that sense, it might be considered a picaresque novel where the quirky protagonist, Meg, and her support network embark on an adventurous journey, or a traditional heroic epic where the hero sets out to rescue someone who is in trouble.

However, there are many layers to the book. Below the surface story of children finding a lost parent to save the parent, which in itself is a reversal to the traditional role that parents play in children’s lives, it is clearly a story of good versus evil. Meg is correct that her father is in trouble. He is in the clutches of “It,” an evil energy that engulfs the world in which he lives—he has traveled to another planet—and which threatens to engulf our world if it is not stopped. “It” takes over people and controls their lives. Meg witnesses an entire street full of children playing synchronously because they are under the control of “It” and this is just an innocuous manifestation of “It’s” powers. It can control people’s minds in ways that go well beyond how they bounce a ball and needs to be stopped. It is up to the children to assist in the fight against “It” or, more specifically, of good versus evil.

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What is the theme of "A Wrinkle in Time"?

The novel A Wrinkle in Time is the epitome of a "good vs. evil" story. The theme of the novel is that evil is an active, constant, present force that is consuming worlds and dimensions. This is on prominent display when the three witches show the children the Earth from a great distance, wrapped in a dark shroud with occasional bursts of light illuminating its surface. This represented the lives and actions of good and pure people.

At the climax of the novel, Charles Wallace does mentally battle with a physical manifestation of evil, the disembodied brain IT, eventually winning out because of his love for Meg and their father.

The primary theme in this novel is that there is a true and constant battle between good and evil, and the only way to combat it is through good and charitable loving actions for humanity.

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What is the theme of "A Wrinkle in Time"?

The theme in A Wrinkle in Time is a battle of Good vs Evil for control of the universe.  Meg, Charles Wallace, Calvin and other "ordinary" humans represent the the good, while disembodied entities referred to as "Thing" or "IT" represents the evil.  The story unfolds with the characters trying to conquer the evil.  The ragtag trio help the children try to conquer evil by giving them advice.  The children must find answers to their questions on their own and follow the path of love and fellowship.  The underlying theme is the power of love.  The author makes it "clear that the only way one defeats evil, hatred, and death is love, a love which grows through suffering and a free acceptance of danger."

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What is the theme of "A Wrinkle in Time"?

The main topic or theme of this novel is that love is stronger than hate.

In the novel, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin travel to a planet called Camazotz, which has been taken over by the power of evil. Everyone on the planet has been dehumanized, their minds, bodies, and souls controlled by a computer called IT. The children have to free their father, imprisoned by IT. They manage to do so but have to leave Charles Wallace behind. He has been taken over by IT. Meg has to travel by herself back to Camazotz to save him. She does this, finding out that the weapon evil can't fight is the intense love she has for her little brother. Love defeats evil, and Meg can bring Charles Wallace home to earth.

The novel expresses and illustrates the central Christian theological belief that love is the most powerful force in the universe. Meg grows from adolescent awkwardness and anger to a more self-assured maturity as she realizes this truth about love and also recognizes her own power to be a force for good in the universe. The novel illustrates as well the importance of good people and forces binding together in a community to fight evil.

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