A Wrinkle in Time Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First published: 1962

Type of work: Fantasy/moral tale/science fiction

Type of plot: Fantasy

Time of work: The mid-twentieth century

Locale: The northeastern United States and the planets Camazotz and Uriel

Characters DiscussedMeg Murry

Meg Wrinkle in Time, AMurry, the protagonist. At the age of thirteen, Meg is going through an awkward phase. Her figure is gangly and her hair stringy; she wears both braces and glasses. Moreover, she has a quick temper that marks her as “unfeminine.” Because Meg is not a conventionally “good” student, her teachers assume that she is “slow.” They are sadly mistaken; Meg has mastered short-cuts in mathematics. Understandably, her ability makes her stubborn and frustrated when she is asked to work problems in the traditional, roundabout way. Meg is ashamed of her faults, but as the story progresses, she learns that these “faults” are her greatest assets.

Charles Wallace Murry

Charles Wallace Murry, Meg’s younger brother. Like Meg, Charles is considered to be “slow.” He seldom talks around people outside his family and did not speak at all until the age of four. When he does talk, however, his vocabulary and syntax are those of an adult. Besides being highly intelligent, Charles Wallace is thoughtful beyond his five years. In the first chapter, for example, he rises from bed during a storm to make cocoa and sandwiches for his mother and sister, who have been awakened by the thunder.

Dr. (Mr.) Murry

Dr. (Mr.) Murry, Meg and Charles’s father. A brilliant scientist, Dr. Murry has been sent by the federal government to the planet Camazotz to rectify the wrongs in its society. When the novel begins, he has been missing for nearly a year.

Dr. (Mrs.) Murry

Dr. (Mrs.) Murry, his wife and the children’s mother. A biologist and bacteriologist, she exemplifies women who successfully combine scholarship, homemaking, and motherhood. While she conducts experiments in the laboratory affixed to her house, a stew simmers on a nearby Bunsen burner. She also shows concern over Meg’s bruises and enjoys cozy moments with her family.

Sandy Murry

Sandy Murry and

Dennys Murry

Dennys Murry, the Murrys’ ten-year-old twin sons. Good students and athletes, the twins fit the stereotype of “well-rounded” children.

Mrs. Whatsit

Mrs. Whatsit, one of three supernatural beings who commission and enable the Murry children to journey to Camazotz. She assumes the guise of an elderly bag lady.

Mrs. Who

Mrs. Who, another of the supernatural beings, who appears as a plump little matron.

Mrs. Which

Mrs. Which, the third supernatural being, who materializes as a shimmer of light.

Calvin O’Keefe

Calvin O’Keefe, Meg’s friend, who accompanies her to Camazotz.

Aunt Beast

Aunt Beast, a furry, tentacled creature who nurtures Meg back to health after she passes through the near-lethal chill of the Dark Thing, an extraterrestrial embodiment of evil.

It

It, a huge, disembodied brain that controls the thinking of all the people on Camazotz.

BibliographyFriedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York: W. W. Norton, 1963. Explains that the frustration felt by many women of the 1950’s derived from their lack of personal fulfillment. With her combination of science and motherhood, Mrs. Murry represents the “new” woman Friedan is urging others to become.Harvey, Brett. The Fifties: A Women’s Oral History. New York: HarperCollins, 1993. Discusses the family of the 1950’s, supporting theories and general observations with concrete examples from case studies. It was a decade of great conformity, which may explain why people outside the Murry family often regarded the “strange” children with hostility.Huck, Charlotte S., Susan Helper, and Janet Hickman. Children’s Literature in the Elementary School. 5th ed. Fort Worth, Tex.: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich College Publishers, 1989. Contains discussions of A Wrinkle in Time, including the attempts to ban the work. The authors argue that L’Engle is a Christian writer.Lukens, Rebecca J. A Critical Handbook of Children’s Literature. 4th ed. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman, 1992. Details the characteristics of children’s fiction and the components of plot, style, and characterization. Lukens distinguishes between strict science fiction and fantasy, explaining that the former concentrates on technology while the latter emphasizes the human element in a scientific world.
Categories: Characters