Womanhood And Coming Of Age In A Wrinkle In Time

1199 words - 5 pages

When Madeleine L’Engle first published A Wrinkle in Time in 1962, women’s place in society differed greatly than what L’Engle portrays in her novel. L’Engle broke barriers of the time with her portrayal of women in A Wrinkle in Time. The novel is infused with the themes of womanhood and coming of age. To be more specific, it is a novel which is thoroughly blended with the strengths of womanhood and with the concept that how women in a society can bring forth specific positive changes. The protagonist, Meg Murry, is a gifted adolescent who constantly harps on being different from other children. Her mother, Mrs. Murry, defines empowerment in women. Mrs. Murry is a phenomenal mother, devoted wife, and genius chemist. During the 1960s it was unheard of for women to be in a science career or many career fields that were limited to only men. The novel also follows Meg Murry’s literal and personal journey as she begins as a confused young woman who eventually accepts her individuality and begins to show the same extraordinary womanhood as her mother, Mrs. Murry. Meg blossoms into her own identity and accepts her uniqueness as she journeys to the planet of Camazotz to rescue her father. A Wrinkle in Time broke barriers for its time through its empowerment of women and as a coming of age novel and provides evidence of this through the protagonist characters of Meg and Mrs. Murry.
It is a fact that when the novel was first published in 1962, it was already infused with a view on women which was quite ahead of its time (Schneebaum, 1990). The predominance of women and the inclination of the entire plot towards the glorification of womanhood can be confirmed by the fact that the central protagonist in the novel is a female who is motivated and supported by another character which is again a woman. It must be noted that the novel “features a female protagonist, Meg, who is a math and science whiz with a sharp and unabashed tongue, and her mother, Mrs. Murry, who is herself a whiz at juggling the roles of mother, faithful wife, and brilliant chemist” (Schneebaum, 1990). Perhaps the most prominent woman figure in A Wrinkle in Time would be Mrs. Murry. Her children hold the utmost admiration for their mother with Meg stating, “It was not an advantage to have a mother who was a scientist and a beauty as well. Mrs. Murry’s flaming red hair, creamy skin, and violet eyes with long dark lashes…” (L’Engle, 12). Mrs. Murry exudes beauty and brains. L’Engle’s portrayal of women in this novel was in fact progressive for the era and majorly foreshadowed the women’s liberation movement (Schneebaum, 1990). Having an empowered woman in a novel generally makes for a fantastic read; however, during the era this novel was published it was more than for the purposes of a fantastic read, it was infusing the blazing fire of women’s liberation and empowerment.
Moreover, as stated earlier, the novel is also infused with the theme of coming of age. Coming of age novels or stories...

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