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Till We Have Faces: Chapters 7 & 8 January 4, 2007

Posted by Danielle in Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
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We are discussing chapters 7 and 8 here. Leave and check out comments below.

Does Psyche come across as a representation of Christ? We’ve already seen how she “healed” multitudes who came looking for her but they ended up turning against her, thinking she’s the “Accursed.” The “religious” of the community, Priest of Ungit, says she must be sacrificed. Psyche is pure and undeserving of death, yet is to be sacrificed on Grey Mountain (similar to Golgatha?). There’s a lot of similarities, any thoughts on this concept?

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1. Michelle - January 6, 2007

I can see some similarities between Psyche and Christ, Danielle.

– Psyche felt she was born for, and though life prepared for, her death in this manner vs. Christ knowing his life led to His crucifixion.

– Psyche instructing Oreal to forgive her enemys, to be at peace vs. Christs teachings on forgiveness.

– Psyche’s inner peace through the ordeal– that she was the one calming Oreal vs. Jesus resolution to follow through what must be and needing to calm the disciples.

– Psyche asking that her valuable possessions (jewelry) be given to Redival vs. Christ instructing that we give away all of our worldly possessions.

– Psyche talking about the good things in her life being a taste for more, that she was eager for death vs. Jesus’ teachings on earth and heaven.

I’m sure there are some that others may have picked up….

2. Danielle - January 7, 2007

Michelle, you came up with some similarities I didn’t even notice. Good points! Anyone else have any thoughts on this topic or others from these chapters?

3. bethany3boys - January 8, 2007

Great points Michelle. You did find lots!!

In these chapters the part where they “made her up” to take her through town to the tree. It seemed almost mocking it wasn’t her or her personality or beauty but a mocking of her becoming a bride.- similar to Christ having a crown of throrns and being mocked as a king as he was paraded through town.

She talked often of her amber castle in the mountain. Similar to Christ and Heaven his Father’s house. She called the mountain home…pg 75-76
“my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”

4. heather - January 9, 2007

Great points, ladies! You found lots of similarities. It’s interesting to read some critics who claim to find no Christian/allegorical elements in this book. Since it was written a few years before his death, it’s hard to imagine Lewis not including that kind of symbolism. Maybe they are like Fox, and simply cannot see it…

I did a little research into Lewis’ view of myth. Apparently (pre-conversion) he used to think of myth as “lies, and therefore worthless, even though breathed through silver.” But post-conversion, through conversations with men like JRR Tolkien, his view changes. He came to see myth as a “real though unfocused gleam of Divine truth falling on human imagination.” (“Miracles”). Tolkien argued that though myths contain error, they still reflect part of God’s reality. He called them “splintered fragments of true light.” I thought that was a great quote. So to Lewis, Christ is the true myth, or myth become fact. Check out this blog (beware of spoilers if you haven’t finished this book!): http://www.iambicadmonit.blogspot.com They have a great 2-part wrap-up of “Till We Have Faces” and an explanation of Lewis’ view on myths. Also Scott Gill’s “Theology of Till We Have Faces” (though the final 2 parts have not been posted) at “Into the Wardrobe” (google it; you’ll find that site).

5. Bethany - January 9, 2007

Where is the post on their blog? What month of the archives?

I do love that splintered fragments of true light quote…too cool.

6. heather - January 9, 2007

Sorry! The first part is on August 16, the second part is on Sept. 8. You’ll like that blog, Bethany. Lots of different posts on art, photography, and literature.

7. Danielle - January 9, 2007

Thanks for these resources Heather!

8. Ashleigh - January 15, 2007

Everyone pinpointed such great comparisons between Pysche and Christ!

Heather, thanks for the resources. Whenever I mention the word “myth,” Ted always points me to Lewis and encourages me to examine what he had to say about them. 🙂

I read a review of the book by Biola University student Brian Breed in their Symosium publication (Volume 5, Issue 2). Breed points to clear comparisons to the Gospel. Yet, instead of pointing to Pysche as a Christ figure, he sees her as a matryr. I thought this was an interesting perspective and different from what we’ve been discussing. He writes (for anyone who hasn’t finished the book, this quote may be a spoiler):

Lewis’ fantasy is so compelling because it’s the Gospel. The central element to Jesus’ story and Till We Have Faces is divine mercy — God intercedes and fixes what we cannot. Christ’s innocence alone can eliminate guilt and change hearts. The god of the Grey Mountain does both to Orual — he purges her and declares her innocent. Martyrs resonate with us for the same reason. Their blood has been called the seed of the gospel because we see the justice in their action and how unjust it is to kill them. Clearly, Pysche is a matryr — a witness — for her sister.

9. Danielle - January 15, 2007

Thanks for this insight and quote, Ashleigh.


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