A Wrinkle in Time Chapter 6 Summary

Instructor: Dori Starnes

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

In chapter 6 of ''A Wrinkle in Time'', Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin make it to the planet where they believe Mr. Murry has been. However, it is a strange and creepy place, obviously controlled by the Black Thing.

In the Cave of the Happy Medium

Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe have travelled through time and space to the cave of the Happy Medium. They are trying to find Mr. Murry, Meg and Charles Wallace's father. He's been missing for years, off on secret work for the government. In the previous chapter, Meg and the others learn that he's currently on a planet controlled by the Black Thing, a cloud of concentrated evil that is taking over the Universe. It is their job to save Mr. Murry and defeat the Black Thing.

The Messages of the Happy Medium

The children lean in closer, and the crystal ball shows a great burst of light that makes some of the Black Thing disappear. Mrs. Whatsit tells them what has just happened… a star has sacrificed itself to fight the Black Thing. The children learn that Mrs. Whatsit used to be a star, but she sacrificed herself. In fact, all the Mrs. Ws (Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which, who brought the kids through space to fight the Black Thing) were once stars.

The group begins to leave, and the Happy Medium offers them some food. Meg is hungry, but Mrs. Whatsit refuses. Charles Wallace says maybe the women need to be reminded that humans need to eat. The Happy Medium offers to show the children their mothers.

They see Calvin's mother first, who is hitting one of his younger siblings with a wooden spoon. Meg holds Calvin's hand to comfort him. Then they see Mrs. Murry, Meg and Charles Wallace's mother. She is writing a letter to their father. Then she hides her face in sadness. Meg says that the Black Thing has already hurt her mother, so they need to get on with fighting it.

Gifts from the Stars

Mrs. Whatsit tells the kids they are heading to a planet called Camazotz, and the group tessers there. Mrs. Whatsit tells Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin that she and Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which cannot come with them, but they will stay near. Mrs. Whatsit tells them that Mr. Murry is on Camazotz, but nothing more.

The perceptive Charles Wallace asks her why she is scared. She was a star, and she wasn't afraid then. Mrs. Whatsit tells Charles Wallace that she was very scared when she sacrificed herself. Then she gives each kid a talisman. Meg is given her own faults, Charles Wallace is given the ability to bounce back, and Calvin is given the gift of communication.

Mrs. Who has a gift for each kid, too. She gives Meg her glasses, but tells her not to put them on until she needs them. She gives Calvin the warning that it (though we don't know what it is just yet) is a quotation from a Shakespeare play and reminds Charles Wallace that he doesn't know everything.

Mrs. Which gives advice to the group. She tells them to go into town, stay together, and remain strong.

Mrs. Whatsit has some final advice for Charles Wallace. She tells him to take care of Meg, and that he is in the most danger of them all. She warns him about his pride and arrogance. He's annoyed by her warnings.


Then the kids head down the hill toward the town in the distance. It's a strange place. All the houses are exactly the same. In front of each house, children play with balls or jump ropes, but they are all bouncing and jumping to the same rhythm. A mother comes to the door of each house, dressed exactly alike, and all the children go inside at the same moment.

Except for one boy, who is playing to his own rhythm. His mother pulls him inside, and he drops the ball he's been bouncing. Charles Wallace picks up the ball and tries to bring it to the child, but the mother insists her son never dropped it, and won't let them inside unless they have papers. The kid grabs the ball and the mother slams the door in their faces.

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