(Disclaimer: I, Catherine Beeman, wrote these questions based solely on my reading of the book; I haven’t read any analysis or literary criticism. There are lots of articles out there that address gender and feminist theory in this book. I haven’t read those articles. It’s worth doing your own research if you’d like to explore further.)
- The following questions are based on the author’s most likely understanding of gender at the time she wrote the book in the middle of the 20th century:
- Why do you suppose influenced Ms. L’Engle to create all of Meg’s “real world” contemporaries as males, and all of the supernatural guides who help the children as females?
- How would the story have been different if Calvin were a female (assuming Meg remains heterosexual)? What would be lost? What would be gained?
- Are there any characters in this book that reveal their essence as transcending gender? (Hint: the answer is yes. Who are they?)
- There is some clever wordplay early in the book that foreshadows future events. Can you name a couple of examples?
- Madeleine L’Engle plays with time in all of the books in the “Time Quintet” (hence the name). How well does A Wrinkle in Time stand the test of time? If we declared the story to start in 2000 instead of the middle of the 20th century, what would you notice as being anachronistic?
- What do you think IT represented, if anything, when the book was written? What might IT represent today?
Copyright 2021 – Catherine Beeman, Your Book Group. You may use these questions in your book groups, but please credit me as the author and include a link to this page when sharing the questions.