A Man is Separated and Therefore Loved

This is taken from an old tweet thread by Susannah Black on the movie version of A Wrinkle in Time in which she explains the particular menace of “It,” the brainy baddy in L’Engle’s story. Essentially, “It” wants sameness, which was terrifying enough to me as a child, but Black explains here that absolute sameness is not just a lack of creativity or personality. Absolute sameness destroys love.

How does this work? Love means laying down your life for another. That’s only possible when an other exists. Where there is no distinction, there can be no love. (It’s worthwhile to note that, where there is no distinction, there can be no pain, either.) In order for love to exist, things must have distinct natures: Creator, creature; man, woman; one individual and another. Erasing these natures – these distinctions – is an attack on love itself.

As a kid, I always thought the end of A Wrinkle in Time was weak. Meg shouts, “I love you, Charles Wallace,” a million times and somehow that rescues him and saves the universe. The connection Black makes here between love and individuality has helped me understand how fitting Meg’s actions are. “It” pushes for sameness, thereby destroying love. Meg loves, thereby reinforcing distinction. Like all good fantasy, its a story about the true nature (and natures) of things.

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