A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle has been a classic for over 50 years, and a much-anticipated big-screen version is forthcoming. The novel has received multiple honors, including the renowned Newbery Medal and Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and it is still well-liked by both students and adults because it conveys uplifting ideas about accepting differences and using love to defeat hatred.
Although a well-known and successful book, A Wrinkle in Time, has a troubled past among readers, Are You There, God? is comparable to several of its contemporaries, such as Where the Wild Things Are.
Due to its content, the book It’s Me, Margaret and the Harry Potter series has come under significant criticism. Since its release 54 years ago, the book has been one of the most often prohibited works.
Teen Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin O’Keefe travel across time and space in the book A Wrinkle in Time to save their father from an unidentified evil entity.
According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association, the book has spent the previous several decades in the top 100 banned or challenged books, despite having a powerful message and sounding like an intensive read.
Why is A Wrinkle in Time So Controversial?
More than eight million copies of “A Wrinkle in Time” have been sold, translated into other languages, and made into an opera, a graphic book, a television play, and two movies. It has repeatedly been outlawed for being either too religious or insufficiently religious.
First, the novel contains many fantastical elements, making it a favorite target of conservative Christians who frequently campaign against material with magical elements taught in schools or libraries.
These elements include the Happy Medium and their crystal ball and the mysticism of the three Mrs. W. Conservative Christians have also criticized L’Engle’s portrayal of religion, particularly the notion that Jesus was not a supremely divine person.
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Uncomfortably, a chapter in the novel’s middle compares Jesus to people like Einstein, Buddha, Gandhi, and Da Vinci. To the chagrin of traditional Christians, the three Mrs. W’s include significant religious and artistic figures with Jesus while explaining to the youngsters that others have faced the approaching darkness before them.
Episcopalian L’Engle dismissed criticisms that her book sought to challenge religious convictions. In 2001, she spoke with the New York Times.
“It seems people are willing to damn the book without reading it. Nonsense about witchcraft and fantasy. First I felt horror, then anger, and finally I said, ‘Ah, the hell with it.’ It’s great publicity, really.”
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The Guardian said that some who opposed L’Engle’s literature were blunt when discussing the “danger” it posed. The newspaper said that after the author’s passing in 2007, someone had claimed that “Madeline (sic) L’Engle teaches universalism in her books and denigrates organised Christianity and promotes an occultic worldview.”
A Wrinkle in Time continues to be regarded as one of the greatest novels of the latter 20th century. However, critics have taken issue with everything from the book’s references to communism to its (perceived) commentary on religion.