Happy Medium from “A Wrinkle in Time”

The Happy Medium as a Symbol wrinkle6

While it’s ultimately a relatively simple story about the battle between good and evil, there is still a lot of symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time. Madeline L’Engle’s classic science fiction novel is loaded with fascinating, yet easy-to-understand symbols, and A Wrinkle in Time is enjoyed by children and adults alike as a result.

Of all the supporting characters in A Wrinkle in Time, the Happy Medium is found by many to be one of the most enjoyable. Not only is she every bit as important to the story as the Wrinkle in Time’s tesseract, but she stands as one of the most important symbols in A Wrinkle in Time, as well.

Seeing with the Clarity of a Child

Before they can carry on with their battle against The Black Thing, our heroes must pay a visit to the Happy Medium using the tesseract. A Wrinkle in Time then moves its action to a planet within Orion’s Belt, which is the residence of the Happy Medium. In A Wrinkle in Time, the Happy Medium can see into the future, as well as the past. She does so by using your standard issue crystal ball, another great example of the combination of both new and old symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time.

When we eventually meet Wrinkle in Time’s Happy Medium, she basically acts like a child, despite her great power. Of course, she’s not the only character like this: Charles Wallace also possesses great psychic power, despite literally being a five-year-old. The Happy Medium winds up being an important symbol in A Wrinkle in Time by illustrating how the innocence of a child can yield great wisdom and vision.

Of course, when The Happy Medium has to look at unpleasant things, she stops just short of throwing a fit, and would rather not do so in the first place. In a way, she’s the polar opposite of Charles Wallace, but still fits in by representing the opposite end of the spectrum.

The Gray World of the Happy Medium

Another interesting aspect of the symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time’s Happy Medium is the literal medium-ness of her home world. Meg notes that everything is completely gray, and has been evened out to a medium and totally non-intrusive gray.

We might think of this as stifling and boring, but apparently in A Wrinkle in Time, the Happy Medium can use it to thrive. Despite her apparent childishness, the Happy Medium becomes one of A Wrinkle in Time’s most important symbols, and ultimately winds up helping the children along their journey in a pretty serious way.