A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 10 Summary

Instructor: Erica Schimmel

Erica has taught college English writing and literature courses and has a master's degree in children's literature.

Knocked unconscious while tessering off Camazotz, Meg slowly wakes with many questions. In this lesson, we will summarize Chapter 10 of Madeleine L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time.'

Struggling to Speak

It is the beginning of Chapter 10 in Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, and Meg Murry is struggling to wake up after losing consciousness while tessering. First, Meg feels cold. Then, she begins to hear voices. Slowly, she starts to recognize that the voices belong to her friend, Calvin O'Keefe, and her father, Mr. Murry. But she does not hear Charles Wallace, her younger brother.

No matter how hard she tries, she cannot move. As the voices of her father and Calvin grow clearer, she hears them discussing her progress. Though her heart is beating very slowly, it is now beating. At first, they had not been able to find a heartbeat at all. Now, all they can do is wait.

Meg desperately wishes she could tell them she is indeed awake. But in addition to being unable to move, she is unable to speak. While in her frozen state, Meg listens to the conversation between her father and Calvin. By listening, she is able to learn more about how they were able to escape IT, a giant disembodied brain that is controlling Camazotz, and what brought her father to Camazotz in the first place.

How Did We Escape?

Mr. Murry explains to Calvin that the only reason they were able to resist IT for as long as they did was that ''IT's completely unused to being refused.'' This is the only reason he was able to survive as long as he did, and Mr. Murry was on the verge of giving in when Meg and Calvin showed up. Unfortunately, IT may have been able to get to Charles Wallace when the boy trusted he could ''deliberately go into IT and return.''

Mr. Murry never even intended to visit Camazotz in the first place - he had been trying to get to Mars, but tessering turned out to be more difficult than he thought. Because time is arranged differently on Camazotz, he does not know whether he ''was imprisoned in that column for centuries or only for minutes.'' Although he came alone, he was not the first to try tessering; however, they do not know what happened to the first member of their team to try. When a year passed without any word from the first man, they drew straws again and it was Mr. Murry's turn. Now he hopes he can return to Earth in time to tell everyone they do not know what they are getting into.

Meg Can Finally Move

With a great deal of effort, Meg finally makes an audible sound, cutting her father short. Her father and Calvin encourage her to try moving, but she still cannot. Gradually, her voice becomes stronger and her words clearer, but she feels ''cold and numb,'' almost as if she is made of ice. Around her, everything she can see is gray and dull in color, but ''the air is filled with a delicate, spring-like fragrance.'' When she asks where they are, her father admits he does not know - he is not very good at tessering, and only knows they are no longer on Camazotz, and is pretty sure they are not on a dark planet.

Finally, after asking where Charles Wallace is multiple times, Meg demands to know why they left him with IT. Though both Calvin and Mr. Murry try to explain how dangerous it would have been to try and pull Charles Wallace out of IT's power, Meg is furious. After all this time, she finally finds her father and yet nothing is fixed. As she angrily pours out her feelings, she does ''not realize she was as much in the power of the Black Thing as Charles Wallace.''

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