The Tesser to Stardom

The progression of Madeleine L’Engle’s novel "A Wrinkle in Time"

The front cover of L'Engle's novel

The front cover of L'Engle's novel

   In “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle, Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and friend Calvin embark on a dangerous but exhilarating adventure in search of their missing physicist father. They encounter many obstacles along the way, with assistance from three strange ladies.

   L’Engle embraces scientific knowledge, utilizing a fifth dimension and seemingly impossible events. To travel through dimensions, one must go through tesseracts, or “wrinkles in time.” Just as their father did, the young intellects must “tesser” through the universe.

   Although this four book series may be classified as science fiction or fantasy, some scientific elements hold true and have inspired physicists to speculate and dive deeper into the mystery of gravitational pull and multidimensions. They have also used Einstein’s theories in conjunction with her ideas and discovered details on the bound that exists between quantum and classical physics.

   The scientific interests in the novel are not only directed at adults, but kids as well. Meg, Charles, and Calvin’s enthusiastic views encourage young readers to explore the fields of science such as astronomy, quantum physics, and biology.

   The protagonist Meg, modeled after L’Engle herself, shed light onto women’s lack of presence in the science fiction field of literature, since it was published in 1962. Meg shows leadership and intelligence while leading Charles and and Calvin in the search for her father.

   In 1963, L’Engle’s novel earned a John Newbery Medal, a literary award commending her for her contribution to children’s literature. Ironically, “A Wrinkle in Time” has been banned by multiple groups due to her inclusion of Jesus Christ with non-religious elements and supposedly promoting witchcraft.

   Since the late 1900s, the book has been accepted and even praised. This March, Disney will release the film adaptation including many leading ladies such as Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey. Don’t be afraid to pick up the book before taking a trip to the theaters; a whimsical ride awaits.

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