A Wrinkle in Time Ideas for Reports and Papers
by Madeleine L'Engle

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. L'Engle has said that she believes all things to be inter-connected; thus, if something happens to one person, it has an effect on everything in the universe. How does this attitude shape A Wrinkle in Time? Does this idea resemble the Hindu and Buddhist concept of karma in any way? How?

2. When Calvin visits the Murrys for the first time, he says that he feels that he is going home. What is lacking in his own family life that makes him react in this way? What does the Murry family have that his own family does not? Why is Calvin attracted to Meg, who sees herself as a social outcast? What special qualities does she possess that Calvin sees but she cannot yet see herself?

3. L'Engle would characterize herself as a Christian writer, yet her book doesn't talk about the Bible or the teachings of Christianity. What values does A Wrinkle in Time say are important? How do these values correspond to those taught in the Old and New Testament? In what ways?

4. Meg has trouble bowing to authority, particularly when it seems that the rules are silly or pointless. This is especially true with regard to her problems at school. What is it about Mr. Jenkins, the school principal, that rubs her the wrong way? Why does he think that Meg is a problem?

5. Even Charles Wallace's high I.Q. does not prevent him from falling victim to his major weakness, pride. How does IT exploit this weakness? What does IT want with Charles Wallace? How close does IT come to succeeding, and why does IT fail?

6. Read one of the sequels to A Wrinkle in Time: A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, or Many Waters. Focus on one of the characters, and examine how this character changes or develops in the later book.

7. Pick several "unreal characters" (like Mrs. Whatsit or Aunt Beast) and an "unreal" location (like Camazotz) and discuss how L'Engle makes her more fantastic fictional creations believable.