A Wrinkle in Time

Chapter 11 - Aunt Beast quote?

Aunt Beast says, “We do not know what things look like…we know what things are like.” What does she mean by this?

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When Meg asks why it is dark in the room, she and the beasts begin a conversation on what it means to see. Since the beasts have no eyes, they don’t understand the concept of light or what things look like. Meg realizes that these beasts have senses much deeper than sight and they tell her that they understand the nature of stars - “their music...and dance” - much better than she does by looking at them.

The planet of Ixchel represents the need for individuals to see the inner beauty of things, not just the outer beauty of the world. The planet, being devoid of most light, of course, does not provide a facile sense of beauty or wonder. But it is the beasts' inner goodness that suffuses the planet with light.

The beasts refer to a biblical passage, again from the Book of Romans, that illuminates their mode of living: “We are called according to His purpose....” The beasts do not attempt to understand the world according to its outer beauty and dimensions, but instead rely on the inner goodness of the universe - what some might call God. This completes L’Engle’s cosmology for the book, one based on both outer beauty and inner goodness.