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Commentary on C. S. Lewis, Till we have Faces: A Myth Retold: Pt. 6 - A Necessary Post Scriptum

Loving the god of the Mountain as the best thing for Psyche
A very good question on one of the previous parts of my commentary on Till We Have Faces obliged a fairly involved answer. I thought that the reflections that this question stimulated were important enough for a proper reading of this book that it was necessary for me to add another part to my commentary on this great book. Thus, here is part 6: A Necessary Post Scriptum. For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3, click here. For Part 4, click here. For Part 5, click here.
There is one last observation that we must make before we complete our analysis of this great book. C. S. Lewis writes Till We Have Faces in such a way that we, the reader, not only sympathize with Orual, but we almost see ourselves in her place, and agree with her frustration and anger. Orual has been slighted, and we feel her pain and anger! We suggested, however, that her feeling of injustice was itself due to a selfish and all-consuming…

Commentary on C. S. Lewis, Till we have Faces: A Myth Retold: Pt. 5

The Argument from Joy/Desire
            This is part 5, and the last part, of a blog series on C. S. Lewis's, Till We Have Faces. For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3, click here. For Part 4, click here.

          Psyche has been promised to the priest of Ungit as a sacrifice, and Orual is no longer allowed to see her. Bardia, however, allows her one last opportunity to speak with Psyche. At the end of the conversation, Psyche explains to Orual that, “I have always—at least, ever since I can remember—had a kind of longing for death.”[1] This notion of longing appears in almost everything that C. S. Lewis writes, even in the poems that he wrote as a young atheist.[2] This longing is not due to being unhappy, and desiring happiness, states Psyche, but, rather, was almost like a side-effect of being in a state of great euphoria, which state was brought on by being surrounded by nature. “And because it was so beautiful,” says Psyche, “it set me longing, always l…

Commentary on C. S. Lewis, Till we have Faces: A Myth Retold: Pt. 4

The Hiddenness of God and the Appearance of Injustice
            This is part 4 of a blog series on C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces. For Part 1, click here. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3, click here. The main theme of this book, or, at least, the explicitly stated purpose of this myth, is the injustice of the gods. Lewis had already published, in 1940, his well-known work on the problem of evil, The Problem of Pain. Though Lewis, when he wrote The Problem of Pain, claims that he had not had a difficult life, it is to be noted that he had lost his mother as a young boy—and event which had affected him greatly, and had served in the second World War, losing many friends. It is interesting to note that this book was published in 1956, the same year that Lewis was married to Joy Davidman in a civil ceremony (April) and later in a religious ceremony (December), after having learned that Joy was diagnosed with Cancer (October). The years preceding 1956 were very busy, as Lewis fo…