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Chapter 8: The Transparent Column Essay

803 words - 3 pages

SummaryCharles Wallace, now in the grip of IT, sits contentedly eating his turkey dinner. He tells Meg and Calvin that the Man with the Red Eyes is their friend and that the Mrs. W's are the enemies. They realize that this is not the real Charles Wallace speaking and grab his arm in an attempt to release the real person trapped within. They tell the Man with the Red Eyes that they know that it is he who is speaking through Charles. The Man identifies himself as the Prime Coordinator and tells them that Charles will lead them to Mr. Murry.Charles leads Meg and Calvin down a long white corridor. As they walk, Meg is reminded of Mrs. Whatsit's gift to Calvin: his ability to communicate. She encourages him to try to speak with her brother. For a moment, Calvin's tone of jocular friendliness seems to reach Charles Wallace, but then the boy drifts away again; Charles tells them that instead of searching for Mr. Murry, they should turn themselves over entirely to IT, whom he identifies as the "Boss" and the "Happiest Sadist." He extols the virtues of IT and declares that on Camazotz, the total conformity prevents all war or unhappiness. Meg notes that sometimes a little bit of unhappiness is a necessary precondition for happiness.Suddenly, Charles waves his hand and the wall of the corridor grows transparent to reveal a small room radiating a dull, sulphurous light. In response to Meg's questioning, Charles says that he simply moved around the wall's atoms to make it open. He shows Calvin and Meg another room in which the little boy that they saw that afternoon is bouncing a wall to a pulsing rhythm, wincing with pain each time the ball hits the ground; Charles explains that it is a punishment for the boy's earlier deviance. Then he shows Meg and Calvin another small cell, in which stands a transparent cylinder or column; Mr. Murry sits trapped inside.CommentaryWhen Charles Wallace advises Meg to "stop fighting and relax," IT is speaking through him. The words echo the counsel of the second-grade spelling machine operator who told them, "just relax and don't fight and it will all be much easier for you." Of course, the children know the dangers of submitting; if they fail to fight Evil and rescue Mr. Murry, darkness will engulf the world as they know it.Meg and Calvin try to rescue the real Charles by tightly gripping his arm,...

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