A newly-unearthed section of A Wrinkle In Time has been released by Madeline L’Engle’s granddaughter — and it has some strong words about the dangers faced by democracies, as they try to balance security and freedom.
L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis, gave the whole previously cut section to the Wall Street Journal, who just published it in its entirety for the first time. The new section features three of the book’s characters — fledgling math prodigy Meg Murry, her father (the intergalactic traveler/physicist) Mr. Murry, and traveling pal, Calvin — having an intense discussion about politics.
What’s this whole totalitarianism thing she’s been hearing so much about, Meg wonders in the new pages, as the three return from dark planet Camazotz. Calvin jumps in with a laundry list of Cold War and World War II dictators. But not so fast, says Mr. Murry, democracies can turn, too — and the culprit is the desire for security above all.
The conversation that then takes place between Meg and her father sounds more out of 2015 than 1962:
“But I still don’t see why security isn’t a good thing. Why, Father?”
“I’ve come to the conclusion,” Mr. Murry said slowly that it’s the greatest evil there is. Suppose your great great grandmother, and all those like her, had worried about security? They’d never have gone across the land in flimsy covered wagons. Our country has been greatest when it has been most insecure. This sick longing for security is a dangerous thing, Meg as insidious as the strontium 90 from our nuclear explosions . . . You can’t feel it or touch it. But it’s there. So is the panicky searching for conformity, for security.”
You can read the whole new section over at the Wall Street Journal.
Image: Early cover art for A Wrinkle In Time, via SwiftlyTilt.