Camazotz from “A Wrinkle in Time”

Camazotz as a Symbol

Camazotz is a planet covered in darkness.

Camazotz is a planet covered in darkness.

Many of the symbols in A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle’s classic science fiction novel, have to deal with issues like conformity. However, out of all the symbols in A Wrinkle in Time, Camazotz is the one that most directly represents Meg’s insecurities and desires for conformity.

The Difference Between Appearances and Reality

On Camazotz, everything looks pretty perfect. Of course, by the end of the novel, we know that it’s not. Camazotz helps to illustrate the symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time by basically being an analogue for Communism. Despite being under the control of a single leader (IT), the people of Camazotz are afraid and miserable. In A Wrinkle in Time, Camazotz stands in for the threat of Communism that was alive and well at the time of its writing, while also representing a very extreme and dehumanizing version of the conformity that Meg spends much of the novel seeking.

In A Wrinkle in Time, Camazotz is a place where everybody is exactly the same. It just so happens, however, that Camazotz is also a dark planet. Under the complete control of IT, the people of Camazotz are subjugated.

IT and the Prime Coordinator

In A Wrinkle in Time the tesseract is used to reach faraway places like Camazotz, where the novel’s heroes encounter IT and the Prime Coordinator, who is under IT’s control. These two characters help to illustrate the symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time that everything is not always the way it seems. These characters both promise happiness, but are shown to be malicious and evil when they don’t get their way.

IT is an important symbol in A Wrinkle in Time, and Camazotz cannot function without ITs presence. IT is a large, disembodied brain, and becomes important to the symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time by basically representing an extreme and evil version of the human mechanism for thought and creative expression. If these are the powers that can help defeat the Black Thing, imagine what they’re capable of when they’re used by the Black Thing.

The Prime Coordinator is another important part of Camazotz in A Wrinkle in Time. He also promises the children happiness, and tells Meg in particular that he can take care of all her problems for her. She must learn to resist this temptation, as part of her symbolic journey in A Wrinkle in Time involves the acceptance of personal responsibility in her own life.

Overreaching Bureaucracy

Camazotz in A Wrinkle in Time is symbolic of a number of things, and one of them is the danger of an overzealous bureaucracy. Throughout the sequence that takes place on Camazotz, the heroes of A Wrinkle in Time are threatened with being processed, and essentially dehumanized by CENTRAL Central Intelligence.

In this way, Camazotz becomes one of the most important symbols in A Wrinkle in Time, cautioning us against extensive conformity, and warning us about what can happen if we let the powers that be get a little too powerful.