Uriel from A Wrinkle in Time

Uriel as a Symbol

The Planet Uriel was Inhabited by winged centaur-like animals

The Planet Uriel was Inhabited by winged centaur-like animals

There’s a great deal of symbolism in A Wrinkle of Time, and a lot of what makes the novel so appealing is how easy most of it is to understand. The planet of Uriel is a far-off place that the kids visit using the tesseract in A Wrinkle in Time. It’s a beautiful place where mythical creatures sing songs of hymnal praise but as with a lot of the symbols in A Wrinkle in Time, there’s a bit more to it than just that.

Beautiful Gardens, Flying Winged Creatures

Uriel, which is named after one of the archangels in the Bible, is one of the most easily-understood symbols in A Wrinkle in Time. The tesseract enables our heroes to visit this far-off planet, and when they’re there they see beautiful gardens, and flying creatures that resemble giant, winged centaurs. These creatures are heard to be singing a song that sounds an awful lot like one of the hymns in the Bible, making Uriel an important part of the Biblical symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time.

In A Wrinkle in Time, the tesseract brings the children to Uriel, where we see a lot of the symbols from A Wrinkle in Time that both explicitly Christian at times, and more or less generally spiritual at others. Uriel, for example, features tall towers and mountains, which direct the eye upwards and inspire a sort of “heavenly” awe.

With all the mythical creatures flying around, the direct references to the Garden of Eden, and the hymns of praise being sung, Uriel becomes one of the clearest and more important symbols in A Wrinkle in Time.

Uriel as the Land of Enlightenment

Another important aspect of Uriel’s role in the symbolism of A Wrinkle in Time involves the fact that the novel’s characters receive most of their important information while they’re there. In this way, Uriel can be seen as an important symbol in A Wrinkle in Time, representing a place of enlightenment and knowledge.

Uriel is another place in where communication takes place in a way that transcends speech and language, an idea that becomes another one of the important symbols in A Wrinkle in Time. On Uriel, the winged creatures’ voices are compared with classical instruments, and everybody talks with thought. This is one of those times where the symbolism in A Wrinkle in Time gets pretty obvious, and L’Engle makes no bones about discussing the idea that some things in the universe simply transcend the abilities that we have here on Earth.

Ultimately, Uriel is one of the more important symbols in A Wrinkle in Time because it allows L’Engle to write about religion without being overt. Her exploration of spirituality is one of the things that makes this novel so particularly beloved, as it’s done in a way that doesn’t put one particular faith over any other.

This deft symbol work, combined with a compelling story, has made A Wrinkle in Time one of the most symbolically-rich, yet readily-enjoyable books ever written.