An analysis of some literary devices in Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time"




Seibt, Betty Kay

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The purpose of this study is to consider Madeleine L'Engle's place in the literary tradition; lacking such establishment, critical work on L'Engle's work cannot go forward. The brief being supported is that L'Engle's sources and themes and her use of three discrete elements--time, myth, and genre--are within the tradition followed by such generally accepted literary artists as Shakespeare and Milton. This study focuses on her novel, A Wrinkle in Time, the first of four novels collectively called the Time Quartet. The major sources of data for this study are the primary work, some of L'Engle's non-fiction works (including Walking on Water and Circle of Quiet), and Anatomy of Criticism and The Great Code by Northrop Frye. The study suggests that L'Engle's use of literary devices, her sources, and her themes do, indeed earn her the right to further study by scholars and critics.