Meg’s family life strikes a stark contrast with life in Camazotz, where individual discovery is literally beaten out of children. In Camazotz, there is no value beyond a person’s ability and willingness to conform to the standards set forth by IT. Although there is no conflict or war, there is also no true happiness. Without discord there can be no harmony and without unhappiness there can be no joy. Without the opposing views and varying talents that can be found on Earth, Camazotz has become a place where there is no real progress and no real life.
Although Camazotz is a depiction of a utopian society gone wrong, there are certain reflections of our own society within it. Meg’s schooling has taught her that she is unintelligent just because she does not conform to society’s expectations of success. Because of this, she begins to believe that she is unintelligent. This type of scenario is extremely common in schools in our own society. Naturally the goal of education is to teach children so that they can succeed, but many education systems do not account for the fact that people learn at many different paces and in many different ways. By only accepting one standard, schools condemn students like the boy in Camazotz was hurt for dropping his ball. As Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” In Camazotz, as well as many modern schools, the only test given is tree climbing. In teaching with this strategy, there will certainly be many excellent tree climbers, but there will also be many excellent swimmers who will never learn that they are talented and worthwhile. I therefore believe that one reason some schools may have challenged the teaching of this book is that is criticizes the school system. Not only are Meg’s teachers cruel, but they are also portrayed as useless to extract the potential from Meg, a girl whose talent finally blooms when she finds her own value in life.