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Till We Have Faces: Chapters 3 & 4 January 3, 2007

Posted by Danielle in Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.

We are discussing chapters 3 and 4 here. Leave and check out comments below.


1. Michelle - January 4, 2007

Quite a bit has happened in these two chapters. It seems a set up for the rest of the story. The land is barren, people sick, crown vulnerable. I can just feel that Redival’s jealousy & the Kings naivety are not going to mix well with the town’s superstitions and the priest of Ungit’s desire to have worship focused on him. It feels like such a good vs. evil book, but in a very creative form. I can almost hear the accusations that are about to fly in the upcoming chapters. It’s hard to put the book down.

2. bethany3boys - January 4, 2007

I am with you Michelle. This book is hard to put down. It just keeps rolling and building. I think I am on chapter 10 already. That is pretty good for my sleepy pregnant self.

3. heather - January 4, 2007

These chapters definitely do set the stage for what’s to come. Redival seems locked into a “crash and burn” course herself, and she’s seems determined to take down everyone else with her. There’s a lot of foreshadowing in these pages. “Thus all the comfort we three had had was destroyed when Redival joined us. And after that, little by little, one by one, came the first knocks of the hammer that finally destroyed us all.” p. 26

How quickly the mob is transformed — in a matter of days they go from blessing Istra and her healing hands to calling her accursed. “Some of the sick in the town died and some recovered. Only the gods know if those who recovered were those whom Psyche had touched, and gods do not tell. But the people had, at first, no doubts. Every morning there were offerings left for her outside the palace…” p. 33 When people start dying, however, the crowd perceives the curse to be coming from Psyche herself “The Accursed, the Accursed! She made herself a goddess…What did I do to them? Do? said I. You healed them, and blessed them, and took their filthy disease upon yourself. And these are their thanks.” p. 39 The mob is trying to determine truth (in this case, who is at fault for the death and disease) based on their perceptions. You see how one’s beliefs shape their perceptions, regardless of what the real truth is.

4. Ashleigh - January 4, 2007

I’ll add more specific thoughts later, but I have to agree with Michelle and Bethany. I’m hooked on this book and could hardly put it down last night.

5. Danielle - January 4, 2007

Great points here, everyone. I too was amazed at how quickly the mob changes from loving to hating Istra. This sets the stage for one of the major episodes in the book.

I hope to write more of my thoughts over the weekend, in response to some of your points, in fuller detail. I have to take a day trip (it’ll be a long day) to Chicago for work tomorrow, but I went ahead and posted tomorrow’s chapter assignments tonight. I’m eager to get all of your thoughts on the chapters to come. I read the whole book already in preparation for leading this, which was great, but I kind of wish I hadn’t, because I have a harder time remembering all of my first impressions before I had the full story.

6. Ashleigh - January 9, 2007

Did anyone else feel bad for Psyche’s mother? She seemed like a young girl who was forced into marriage with this despisable man for political reasons. I liked how Orual developed a love and fondness for her. She writes, “I learned I had nothing to fear from her. She was at first more afraid of me; after that very loving in her timid way, and more like a sister than a stepmother” (pp. 13-14).

It’s interesting that it was the love she had for the Queen that promoted her to go see Pysche as an infant.

7. Nicole - January 19, 2007

After the mob first came to the castle for healing from Istra, they came again for corn, and I thought the line, “They knew the palace door could be opened” was so interesting! How true this is with anything, but I was thinking especially of sticking to something, i.e. witholding from temptation. Once you give into temptation it becomes easier and easier. I know I’m kind of stretching the analogy, but that line just kind of stuck with me.

8. bethany3boys - January 20, 2007

Cool insight Nicole.

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