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If you read the stories about Meg's daughter, Polly, you find that the effects of a chilkdhood of being an outcast and an underacheiver impact her growth as an adult. In an Acceptable Time, Polly and her grandmother (Meg's mother) talk about Meg having all of these kids and realize it's because she doesn't feel like she can compete careerwise with a Mother who's a microbiologist and a father who's a physicist. As a RAGING Madeleine L'Engle fan, I have seen that female character's end up "smoothing out" as get older. Polly for example, goes from being an opinionated and judgemental child in Arm of the Starfish to something of an insecure wimp in her next few books. I also wonder why Ms. L'Engle presents Zachary as such a jerk but somehow none of her heroines ever tell him off.


Lisa, e-mail me and I'll send you a photocopy of the article. I would send a copy to you electronically, but the New Yorker allows EBSCO abstract rights only (so, no full-text in our database). Rrr.


I was pretty disappointed that after all she'd managed to do, Meg just did nothing with her life but have 8 or 9 kids and completely fade into the background. She could have done more, and I think it was false to just make her a disappearing housewife.


I don't know about the Wrinkle in Time movie, but for the love of all the holies, do NOT watch the Ring of Endless Light movie that Disney made. It has Mischa Barton as Vicky. MISCHA BARTON. Miscasting doesn't even begin to describe it.

I think besides the parental goalsetting, Meg also had to compete with Calvin - didn't he become a brilliant biologist? She probably thought she could never live up to all of these things and decided to take herself out of the running. Doesn't make it any less sad, though.

And about telling off Zachary - didn't Vicky do that a couple of times? I thought she did, but it made no real impact because he's a grade-A tool.


Totally agree with you on the Ring of Endless Light movie. It seemed like Disney only took the setting (by the beach) the character names and the title and ran the plot into a blender and just spewed out a tv movie. Is it me, or does the Wrinkle in Time movie look a little...cut rate? I mean the person they have playing Meg's mother looks worn down. I thought she was playing Calvin's mother. I just find it bizaare they couldn't find a stunning beauty to play Dr. Murry since it's a fairly important plot point. And then Alfre Woodard as Mrs. Whatsit when she transforms on Uriel, looks like a chicken. Not the noble marble statue that was described in book. I know movies are different from books but...it just looks like every decision they make is based on how little they have to pay. In my ideal world, Joan Plowright plays Mrs Who, Vanessa Redgrave plays Mrs. Which, and Angela Lansbury plays Mrs. Whatsit.


Sophie and Veruca, one thing I have read in interviews with Madeleine L'Engle is that she was working on a book called The Eye Begins to See, about Meg as a middle-aged woman. In A House Like a Lotus, Max makes a comment to Polly (I hate that she added the second L!) that Meg is on the point of "pulling a Gaugin and walking out," because she's just as smart as her husband and has been stifled as a mom to seven kids her whole adult life, so this book would be making up for the neglect of Meg as a person. However, L'Engle may not be in shape to complete it. I do hope we get to read it in whatever form someday.


A few things, in relation to some of the comments.

1. I'm not sure how raising children equates to doing nothing with her life. If I remember fcorrectly she helps Calvin with his research as well as raise the kids. This always made sense to me as she was described as being not one thing or the other.

L'Engle pointed out once in reference to this that her choice to be a mother is significant because she could have done anything with her life and knew it.

I wonder if the dissapointment has to do with the fact that much of her growing up isn't dealt with, same thing with Vicky really.

Though I would also argue that L'Engle feels these people are in a "real" way seperate from her, they are their own peoiple. I think maybe she felt they were so important that she was afraid that it wasn't up to her to see them into their next stage.

Which brings me at last to the reason I'm posting this. Have you ever considered fleshing out the character in a story of your own? I think it would be pretty interesting considering the degree to which yopu resonate with her.

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