Why did I not read this when I was younger? A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a wonderful tale of travel through space and time, full of charming characters, human and alien, who all want to help Meg, a young misfit, find her long-lost scientist father.
Accompanying Meg on her journey are her friend Calvin and her younger brother, Charles Wallace, who is very young, but possess the intelligence, if not the wisdom, of an adult. He also seems to have some kind of powerful psychic ability, though L’Engle does not really delve too deeply into the whys of this aspect of Charles’ character.
A Wrinkle in Time appears on Lost as one of the many books that Sawyer is shown reading. It appears in the episode “Numbers” in which we learn Hurley’s backstory and the tale of how he won the lottery using a set of numbers that he has come to believe are cursed and that seem to have something to do with the island. Hurley sets off across the island searching for answers and in this way, his journey parallels Meg’s journey for answers about her father.
Along the way, Meg and company find that many worlds are shrouded by a black thing, a darkness, that sounds more than a little bit like the mysterious black cloud that both Mr. Eko and John Locke have seen on Lost. Here we have what is apparently the closest Lost connection.
As it is described in A Wrinkle in Time, the black shadow is some kind of manifestation of pure evil, but on Lost in may be something else. In the first season it appears to be some kind of unseen monster, but after looking into it, Locke claims that he has looked into the eye of the island and found it beautiful. In season two, Mr. Eko has a similar experience, but the monster is revealed as some kind of black smoke or shadow that shows Eko images of his past.
In A Wrinkle in Time, we have another book that suggests alternate reality and psychic manipulation. It focuses on the presence of some kind of all-encompassing evil that has the power to distort reality and trap people where time has no meaning; in fact all of A Wrinkle in Time takes places over the course of a few seconds on Earth.
I’m not sure time has stopped on Lost, but one thing that’s interesting to note is the fact that the only two characters to face the monster and survive are the two who are most driven by faith. The issue of faith vs. reason is a recurring theme on Lost, and as I ponder A Wrinkle in Time, I remember that it was Meg’s faith and her love for her brother that saved her. On Lost, Mr. Eko, a true man of faith, was ultimately saved by the love of his brother.
Perhaps A Wrinkle in Time is something of a red-herring on Lost, designed to make us wonder if the characters on Lost are trapped in a wrinkle in time of their own, or perhaps under the spell of some kind of psychic manipulation. Maybe the darkness on Lost isn’t really darkness, or perhaps it further blinds the men of faith. Whatever may happen on Lost, though, A Wrinkle in Time is a worthwhile read.
For more of my Lost book posts, check out The Lost Book Club.