A Wrinkle in Time

once they refuse to look at the light over his head,how does the man with red eyes attempt to hypnotize the children?

chapter 7

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The man tempts them with the idea that they should give into him so that he could take away all their “burdens of thought and decision.” He begins boring into their minds, reciting the multiplication table. Charles Wallace fights the man’s power by yelling out nursery rhymes and Meg and Calvin follow; Calvin yells out Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” and Meg simply yelling out “Father!” The man laughs at them for their attempt to break his hold on their minds and says that they passed his tests with flying colors.

Meg pleads with the man that they are only looking for their father. The man retorts that he could show them their father but wants to know why. When Meg gets angry at the man, the man tells her to have patience, something Meg has very little of. The man tells them that they don’t have to speak to him, that he can simply read their thoughts, and Charles Wallace replies that “The spoken word is one of the triumphs of man.” Suddenly, Charles Wallace rushes at the man and hits him as hard as he can, knocking the wind out of him. Charles Wallace explains that he didn’t think the man was real, that perhaps he was a robot, and that he could feel that something was coming “through” him instead of “from” him. The man is displeased with Charles Wallace, but tells him that if he looks into his eyes, the man will show him what is behind them. Charles Wallace reluctantly agrees.

The color drains from Charles Wallace’s face and he begins to look different. He slowly begins to walk towards the man, and Meg then tackles Charles Wallace to the floor, breaking the man’s spell on the boy. The man tells Meg that he could lose patience with her, and she retorts, angrily that he should at least feed them since they were starving. The man agrees, but tells them that what they eat will not be real food - only an imitation of it. Because the man can trick Meg and Calvin’s mind, they will think they are eating a turkey dinner, while Charles Wallace will only feel like he is eating sand.

When the food comes, they agree to eat, and just as the man said, Charles Wallace only tastes sand. Charles Wallace then makes a deal with the man, that if he will show him his father and allow him to leave when he wants, he will give into the man’s spell. Though Meg and Calvin protest, Charles Wallace convinces them to let him try. He gives himself over to the man’s stare and within moments, he looks and talks different than the old Charles Wallace. Meg screams that “That isn’t Charles!”