“...we can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts” Mrs Whatsit, pg 101
The great adventure finally begins and impatient Meg believes she is finally going to see her beloved Father again. What she doesn’t know is that she is also going to see the most dreadful, evil darkness that is trying to take over the world.
Without warning, the three Mrs ‘tesser’ or ‘wrinkle’ Meg, Calvin and Charles Wallace through space and time to another galaxy, landing on Uriel to catch their breath and explain some of the reasons behind their secrecy. Charles Wallace’s ability to ‘know’ or read minds makes him protective of Meg and Calvin because they are not getting much of an explanation for any of the things that are happening to them. It is difficult to remember that Charles Wallace is only a toddler because he speaks so well and he stands up to the Mrs for his sister and friend.
Mrs Whatsit’s transformation into her natural winged, “marble white body with powerful flanks, something like a horse but at the same time completely unlike a horse...” was a powerful explanation to the children that there were things that were difficult to explain- that they would have to be shown to understand. When she whisks the children away on her back we are shown another very clear connection between Charles Wallace and these other creatures. When Meg asks Mrs Whatsit to translate the beautiful song they are singing Mrs Whatsit tells Charles Wallace, “...You can let yourself go now. You don’t have to hold back...” telling us that he is definitely connected to far more than just humans and that his special talents extend further than mind reading. Although he is clearly a very extraordinary boy, Charles Wallace is just as horribly affected by the dark thing they are shown. They can all feel the evil in this terrible shadow. For the first time, Meg makes the connection between this evil and her Father’s disappearance, “The dark Thing we saw, “ she said. “Is that what my father is fighting?”.
In Chapter 5, The Tesseract, the children go through many ups and downs. Meg is devastated when she learns that the thing behind the darkness is what her Dad if fighting and they meet the strange Happy Medium who reveals just how urgent it is and how much Earth depends on their finding and defeating the Dark Thing. She becomes far more upset when she discovers that they have to tesser again. She did not like it the first time and she is not looking forward to anymore. Meg’s ill feeling towards tessering gives the author an opportunity to explain the idea to the reader and this is where we get a better understanding of how they are moving through time and space. It also gives the author the opportunity to explain how the characters look, feel, think and react as they
I’d love to see your comments on how you would feel if you were taken through a tesser. The description of Meg’s flattened out body as the Mrs took them through the 2-dimensional world reminds me of the paper doll books that my Mum used to buy me when I was little. You could push the paper doll figures out and then push out all sorts of clothes and accessories to dress them. I imagined Meg looking like one of those paper dolls and being able to fold this way and that!
I am the Teacher Librarian/Literacy Specialist at an independent Catholic Junior School in Sydney, Australia.