A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 3 Summary

Instructor: Dori Starnes

Dori has taught college and high school English courses, and has Masters degrees in both literature and education.

Did you ever get interrupted just as you were about to make a move? Calvin returns to the Murry house and Meg reveals how smart she really is. But just as Calvin and Meg might begin to explore their feelings for each other, things get even weirder. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapter 3 of ''A Wrinkle in Time''.


Meg Murry feels like a loser in life. Mrs. Murry, Meg's mother, a scientist who is also gorgeous, tells Meg not to worry; she's just different. Meg's youngest brother Charles Wallace is the same way. But lately, odd things have been happening around the Murry house. It all started with the appearance of Mrs. Whatsit, who brought news of a tesseract. This rattled Mrs. Murry considerably. Her missing husband, Mr. Murry, often joked about the very same thing.

And then Meg and her brother meet Calvin O'Keefe in the woods. Though Calvin is a popular athlete, he is the same as Meg and Charles Wallace in that he just doesn't seem to belong in his family. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin head through the woods to visit Mrs. Whatsit. Instead, they find Mrs. Who, who has a cryptic message for them: Mr. Murry needs their help.

Chapter 3: Mrs. Which

Meg surprises Calvin with her ability to solve complex physics problems.
Meg surprises Calvin with her ability to solve complex physics problems.

Homework Help

After the rather cryptic conversation with Mrs. Who, Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin return to the Murry's house. Mrs. Murry is making supper over a Bunsen burner while she completes an experiment. Calvin uses the phone to call him mother, to tell her that he won't be home for supper, but he reaches his brother instead.

Calvin pulls Meg aside and tells her that she is lucky to have a family who loves her. His own huge family barely notices him. Meg shows Calvin a picture of her own missing father. Calvin says neither he nor Meg's dad is handsome, but Meg says they both are. Then Calvin asks where Mr. Murry is, but Meg can't answer.

Meg's mother tells her to work on her homework, and Calvin admits that he has work to do as well. Mrs. Murry tells Calvin that Meg can help him with his math homework and Calvin laughs. Meg is several grades behind him. But Meg surprises him by getting the problems solved almost instantly. Mrs. Murry tells Calvin it's because Meg and her father used to play math games. In fact, Meg is better at math than some of their teachers.

Impressed, Calvin quizzes Meg. She does very well on math and science questions, especially physics, but dismally on any questions about literature, geography, or common sense. Again, Calvin tells them how nice it is to be around people he can talk to.

Calvin returns to the Murry house for dinner.
Calvin returns to the Murry house for dinner.

A Walk in the Garden

After dinner, Calvin offers to read a bedtime story to Charles Wallace, so Meg and her mother talk about Mr. Murry. Mrs. Murry tells Meg about some of the strange things that have happened lately and wonders if it has to do with Mr. Murry. Mrs. Murry tells Meg that there is always an explanation even when no one understands it.

Meg says that Charles Wallace seems to understand more than anyone, and Mrs. Murry tells her that Charles Wallace is different. Just then, Calvin comes back from Charles Wallace's room and asks Meg if she'd like to go for a walk. He asks her about her father, and Meg reveals that he works as a physicist for the government, and he's off doing government work.

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