An Acceptable Time
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"An Acceptable Time" Characters Analysis

By Madeleine L'Engle

fantasy | 343 pages | Published in NaN

A flash of lightning, a quiver in the ground, and, instead of her grandparents' farm, Polly sees mist and jagged mountains—and coming toward her, a group of young men carrying spears. Why has a time gate opened and dropped Polly into a world that existed three thousand years ago? Will she find her way back to the present before the time gate closes—and leaves her to face a group of people who believe in human sacrifice?

ISBN_13:9780440208143

Estimated read time: 7 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Polly O'KeefeProtagonist
Dr. Louise ColubraAntagonist
Zachary GraySupporting Character
Charles WallaceSupporting Character
Alex MurrySupporting Character

Role Identification

In "An Acceptable Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, Polly O'Keefe serves as the protagonist, while Dr. Louise Colubra takes on the role of the antagonist. Zachary Gray, Charles Wallace, and Alex Murry are supporting characters who play significant roles in the story.

Character Descriptions

Polly O'Keefe

Polly O'Keefe is a fifteen-year-old girl with a curious and adventurous spirit. She has long, wavy brown hair and piercing blue eyes. Polly possesses an innate sense of empathy and a deep fascination for the mysteries of time travel.

Dr. Louise Colubra

Dr. Louise Colubra is a renowned archaeologist and a professor at a local university. She is known for her sharp intellect and unyielding determination. Dr. Colubra has short, gray hair and wears glasses. She is an imposing figure, often seen in professional attire.

Zachary Gray

Zachary Gray is a charming and enigmatic young man in his late teens. He has dark, tousled hair and a mischievous smile. Zachary is often seen wearing casual clothes, exuding an air of rebelliousness. He possesses a deep knowledge of history and the ability to navigate the complexities of time.

Charles Wallace

Charles Wallace is Polly's adopted brother and a genius child with extraordinary abilities. He has unruly blond hair and innocent brown eyes. Charles Wallace possesses a unique understanding of the interconnectedness of the universe and often acts as a guide for Polly.

Alex Murry

Alex Murry is Polly's grandfather and a brilliant scientist. He has graying hair and kind, intelligent eyes. Alex is known for his groundbreaking research in physics and his involvement in the previously encountered tesseracts.

Character Traits

Polly O'Keefe

Polly is curious, empathetic, and brave. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge and a strong sense of justice. Polly is also intuitive and possesses a deep understanding of the human condition.

Dr. Louise Colubra

Dr. Colubra is intelligent, ambitious, and determined. She is a rational thinker who relies on evidence and facts. However, her ambition sometimes leads her to make questionable choices.

Zachary Gray

Zachary is charismatic, resourceful, and adventurous. He is skilled at adapting to different situations and possesses a sharp wit. Zachary also has a rebellious streak and can be impulsive at times.

Charles Wallace

Charles Wallace is exceptionally intelligent, perceptive, and wise beyond his years. He has a deep sense of empathy and understands the complexities of the universe. Charles Wallace is also fiercely protective of his loved ones.

Alex Murry

Alex is brilliant, inquisitive, and compassionate. He is a dedicated scientist who is driven by a desire to understand the mysteries of the universe. Alex is also a loving grandfather who deeply cares for Polly and Charles Wallace.

Character Background

Polly O'Keefe

Polly is the daughter of Meg Murry O'Keefe and Calvin O'Keefe, who are both renowned scientists. She grew up in a family that valued intellect and curiosity. Polly's parents and grandparents have had numerous adventures involving time travel and interdimensional travel, which has influenced her own fascination with the subject.

Dr. Louise Colubra

Dr. Colubra has always been passionate about archaeology and history. She grew up in a family of academics, where intellectual pursuits were highly valued. Dr. Colubra's determination to make groundbreaking discoveries in her field has shaped her career and personal life.

Zachary Gray

Zachary comes from a troubled background and has had to navigate life on his own terms. His love for history and his natural intelligence have helped him overcome many obstacles. Zachary has developed a deep understanding of the complexities of time and its potential implications.

Charles Wallace

Charles Wallace was adopted by the Murry family when he was a baby. He possesses extraordinary intelligence and unique abilities that set him apart from others. Charles Wallace's deep understanding of the universe and his role as a guardian of the tesseracts have shaped his character.

Alex Murry

Alex Murry is a renowned physicist and a loving grandfather. He has dedicated his life to unraveling the secrets of time and space. Alex's involvement in the previous adventures involving time travel has given him a deep understanding of its potential dangers and possibilities.

Character Arcs

Polly O'Keefe

Throughout the story, Polly's character arc revolves around her journey of self-discovery and the exploration of her own potential. Initially, she is curious about time travel but unsure of her own abilities. As the story progresses, Polly learns to embrace her intuition and navigate the complexities of time.

Dr. Louise Colubra

Dr. Colubra's character arc revolves around her obsession with uncovering the mysteries of time travel. Initially driven by ambition, she becomes consumed by the power it promises. However, as the story unfolds, Dr. Colubra is forced to confront the consequences of her actions and reevaluate her priorities.

Zachary Gray

Zachary's character arc involves his transformation from a rebellious and self-centered individual to someone who understands the importance of selflessness and the greater good. Through his interactions with Polly and Charles Wallace, Zachary learns valuable life lessons and discovers his role in preserving the integrity of time.

Charles Wallace

Charles Wallace's character arc focuses on his growth as a guardian of the tesseracts and his understanding of the interconnectedness of time. He learns to balance his immense knowledge with empathy and compassion, ultimately becoming a guiding force for Polly and Zachary.

Alex Murry

Alex's character arc centers around his role as a mentor and grandfather figure to Polly. He imparts his wisdom and knowledge to her, guiding her through the challenges of time travel. Alex also confronts his own fears and doubts about the consequences of meddling with time, leading to personal growth and a deeper connection with his family.

Relationships

Polly's relationship with Dr. Louise Colubra is one of conflict and tension. They clash over their differing views on the ethics and consequences of time travel.

Polly develops a strong bond with Zachary Gray, and their relationship evolves from initial distrust to friendship and eventually a deep connection based on shared experiences and understanding.

Charles Wallace serves as a mentor and guide for Polly, offering her support and wisdom throughout their time-traveling adventures. Their relationship is characterized by trust and a deep sibling-like bond.

Polly's relationship with her grandfather, Alex Murry, is one of love and mutual respect. He serves as a source of guidance and knowledge, helping Polly navigate the complexities of time travel.

In conclusion, "An Acceptable Time" by Madeleine L'Engle presents a diverse cast of characters with intriguing backgrounds, distinct traits, and complex relationships. The character arcs and interactions within the story add depth and richness to the narrative, making it a captivating read for fans of science fiction and time travel.