A Wrinkle In Time: Novel Summary: Chapter 11

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Aunt Beast

The beasts take Meg away, saying she needs special attention to counteract the influence of the Black Thing. Meg feels a supreme sense of comfort and security. Realizing that the beasts are good, she relaxes and falls asleep. When she awakes, the pain is only a memory and she is no longer paralyzed. The beasts have saved her. One of the beasts says they are talking to her father and Calvin, to come up with a plan that will help them. When Meg asks why it is so dark where she is, the beast does not know what she means by light and dark. Meg tries to explain it, but the beast says it sounds very complicated. The beasts do not have a concept of vision; they just know what things are like without seeing them in the human sense.

Meg wants to go back to Camazotz to rescue Charles, but the beast advises caution. It promises that they will not abandon Charles, but they have not yet decided on the best course of action. Meg eats the delicious food the beast offers her, and decides to call the creature Aunt Beast. Aunt Beast sings her to sleep with the most beautiful of music. When she wakes up, she asks Aunt Beast what planet they are on. The reply is Ixchel. Aunt Beast also explains that the beasts are engaged in fighting the Black Thing, and many forces in the universe, including God and love, help them in this battle.

Aunt Beast leads Meg to a large chamber, where she meets up again with her father and Calvin. But she is still angry with them because she feels they are not sufficiently concerned about the fate of Charles Wallace. Meg insists that their only option is to turn to Mrs. Whatsit and the other two ladies for help. She tries as hard as she knows to explain to the beasts who the ladies are, but they cannot understand her. Then Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Who suddenly arrive in person.

Analysis
There are more lessons for Meg in this chapter. The benevolent beasts on Ixchel show her there is a way of knowing that does not depend on the sense of sight. They have no eyes, yet they know things intimately and completely, far more so than humans do. This is a confirmation for Meg of the earlier words of her mother, when she said that things can exist without her being able to understand why or how. Meg also receives more reminders of the inadequacy of words to explain things, and she gets an experience, from Aunt Beast, of unconditional love. The beasts, who function on a higher plane of existence and therefore do not need the limiting senses of humans, are in a sense an incarnation of the love of God. They do God's bidding, along with all the other forces in the universe that are on the side of light against darkness. But Meg still has not learned how to harness that power in order to defeat IT and rescue Charles. She is still too ready to blame others, as can be seen when she lashes out at her father for his perceived lack of caring.

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