Some Thoughts You Have When Rereading A Wrinkle in Time as an Adult
A Wrinkle in Time is a classic children’s book that was written by Madeleine L’Engle in 1962. Chances are you have read this book at some point in your life, or have at least heard of it.
Now, with the new Disney movie adaptation of the book coming out in March, I decided that it was time to reread this book that I haven’t read since I was a kid. I didn’t remember much about the book, and I actually really enjoyed reading it again as an adult.
Also, reading it as an adult meant that I picked up on a few things that I didn’t notice when I was a kid. Such as….
How did I not notice this book is super religious?
I first read A Wrinkle in Time when I was about eleven. Well I must have been about the densest eleven year old of all time because upon rereading this book I had no memory of how religious it is.
Now, I’m not bothered by the religious content, I’m just surprised it didn’t stick out to me when I was young because it is SO OBVIOUS. I mean, Mrs.Whatsit transforms into an angelic creature on a planet that is essentially heaven and then all the other angelic creatures start singing a Bible verse.
Not exactly subtle.
L’Engle’s imagery also reminds me a lot of C.S. Lewis’s in the Narnia books (Another series I read as a kid and also somehow didn’t realize was super religious). While on the planet Uriel, Mrs.Whatsit flies the children to the top a mountain that goes on forever and ever and is taller than anything the children have ever seen. It reminded me of the scene in Lewis’s The Silver Chair where Jill and Eustace first arrive in Narnia and are at the top of a giant cliff, so high up they can’t see the bottom.
Mr. Murry was kind of terrible
I know Meg thinks her dad is great and is desperate to get him back and he’s some kind of genius and all that. But while rereading the book it struck me that Mr. Murry isn’t exactly the World’s Greatest Father. He volunteers to go on a completely untested, potentially very unsafe mission that he can’t tell his family anything about, even though he has three small children and a baby that he has to leave his wife completely alone with. Then his poor kids have to risk their lives to save him all because he, what, just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go on a space adventure?
If I was Meg, I’d be pissed. And then I’d ask for a massive raise in my allowance.
Wait, WHY do Mrs. Whatsit, Who, and Which care about this guy?
I don’t think it’s ever actually explained in the book. It doesn’t seem like Mr Murry was doing anything particularly special, besides playing with the forces of space and time. Hardly a reason to send children into the depths of evil to save a man.
The writing is really clever
As a kid, I’m sure how clever L’Engle’s writing is went right over my head. I actually remember being kind of frustrated while reading the book because there were a lot of words in it that I didn’t understand. But reading it now, I realize that the writing is actually pretty clever. For instance, Meg is told early on in the book to “use a happy medium,” instead of being so emotional. Later, she meets the Happy Medium, a jolly woman who can look through space and time on her crystal ball. There are plenty of instances of this kind of wordplay that I didn’t pick up on when first reading the book.
Overall, I would say rereading A Wrinkle in Time as an adult was a rewarding experience. If you are thinking about picking up A Wrinkle in Time as an adult for the first, second, or even third time, I recommend it.
Are there any childhood books that you found something new in when you reread them as an adult?
Grace Carlson is a writer from Washington. She writes about travel, mental health, writing, and books. Sometimes she’s funny, or at least that’s what her mom says. Follow her on twitter @gracieawriter