A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 4 Summary

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  • 0:04 Background
  • 0:42 Tessering
  • 1:45 Flying Up to the Mountain
  • 2:52 A Shadow on the Sky
  • 3:26 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dori Starnes

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

Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin travel to the planet Uriel, where the true form of Mrs. Whatsit is revealed and they get the first glimpse of the unimaginable evil they are facing. This lesson will focus on the summary of Chapter 4 of 'A Wrinkle in Time'.


Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace have met three increasingly strange women, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. All of these women have had things to say about Meg and Charles Wallace's long-absent father, Mr. Murry. First, Mrs. Whatsit told Mrs. Murry that a tesseract was real, then Mrs. Who mentioned that Mr. Murry needed their help, and now Mrs. Which has told Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe that it's time for them to go find Mr. Murry.

So they stand in the Murrys' garden while Mrs. Which speaks to them as a disembodied voice, waiting on what will happen next.


Suddenly, the world around Meg disappears. Everything goes blank, like a TV screen that's switched off. She's all alone, and she can't move or speak. But slowly, her senses return. She hears Charles Wallace and then sees him. He doesn't see her, and she is still unable to move. Calvin comes into reality, too, but he also can't seem to see Meg.

Meg feels a push, and suddenly she's returned to her body. She is in a field on a gorgeous spring day, though she left her home on a fall evening. Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who arrive, doubled over with laughter. Then Mrs. Which comes up, and Meg understands why they're laughing. Mrs. Which is wearing a Halloween costume of a witch.

Meg doesn't really find it funny, and neither does Charles Wallace, who asks the women to explain what is going on to Meg. Mrs. Whatsit tells the three of them that they are now on a different planet called Uriel, and they got there by tessering. They have traveled in a wrinkle through time and space, rather than by using speed. Calvin blurts out that it's impossible.

Flying Up to the Mountain

Mrs. Whatsit tells them that their trip has something to do with Meg and Charles Wallace's father, but he's not the only reason they have tessered. His life is in danger, but she wanted to show them what they were up against first. That's why they've come to Uriel. Mrs. Which interrupts Mrs. Whatsit and tells her that she should change and show them.

The children aren't really sure what's going to happen, but Mrs. Whatsit changes her form into a winged, centaur-like creature. The creature can talk, and it tells Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace that they can still call her Mrs. Whatsit. She tells them to get on her back.

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