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The love shared between family members can overcome the greatest of all challenges, including the Dark Thing which represents the apotheosis of evil. L’Engle’s characters do not simply act out of a desire to do the right thing, but are instead motivated and compelled by the love that bonds them all together. In this way, familial love is one antidote to the Dark Thing.
Another antidote to the Dark Thing, L’Engle suggests, is sacrificial love. Modeled on the Christian framework of the novel, the reader learns that stars and their searing light can defeat the Dark Thing, but at the cost of their own lives. Mrs. Whatsit is an example of this, a fallen star. This makes sense in the previous chapter’s naming of Jesus as one of the lights that have done battle with the darkness. The sacrifice of the star is based on the Christian model of Jesus, who is believed to have given his own life to defeat sin and evil in the world. Martyrdom, then, is almost a prerequisite to taking on evil, since the battle will inevitably lead to some form of self-destruction.