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Till We Have Faces: Chapters 9 & 10 January 8, 2007

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

We are discussing chapters 9 and 10 here. Leave and check out comments below.



1. Danielle - January 8, 2007

In these chapters I grow to like Bardia and how he teaches Orual swordsmanship. And we learn that Psyche is alive! I like how Lewis has Psyche’s eyes opened to a new level of reality that Orual is unable to see.

2. bethany3boys - January 8, 2007

I too like Bardia and the whole sweordmanship part. It was surprising to me to how much more I like Orual. I keep forgetting she is ugly and have to remind myself because I see this strong incredible woman. It is funny in the book because everytime she mentions her uglieness again or another character does it jolts me back to that aspect of her…in all she is doing it is so easy to forget.

I also like how Lewis has Psyche’s eyes open and not Orual’s. It is so thought provoking because it is hard to know who to believe. In my mind I feel as confused as Orual does…wondering if Psyche is just mad yet also knowing the story and that Orual is NOT a believer so she can’t see. So many parallels to life as a Christian and having to live by faith and what we can’t see and at times how our logic doesn’t fit into that mold but it is all a part of Faith.

3. bethany3boys - January 8, 2007

PS Danielle, I have been meaning to comment more but couldn’t put the stinkin book down and had to finish it. Tee Hee. So I am ready to back track now. Great fast read.

4. Michelle - January 8, 2007

I am so into the story. I couldn’t wait to see what Oreal would find when she went to the mountain. Then… I couldn’t wait to hear Psyche’s story- how she escaped from the chains, what she experienced. I did pick up how she made a comment to Oreal about being on the gateway of her house just after she crossed the river, but I had no idea they were AT her house. So intriguing.

A few favorite part that I underlined:

Comparing the gods to us: “Now we, beside the gods, are like lepers besides us.” pg 111
When the god saw her: “I felt ashamed.” pg 111. “insufficient.” pg 114
The god instructed her to: “Enter your House, Psyche, the bride of the God.” pg 113 [Gasp!]

5. Ashleigh - January 15, 2007

Bethany and Danielle, I agree! Bardia teaching Orual swordmanship is such a great element to the story. I really like in the opening of chapter nine where Bardia first approaches Orual with the idea. We read,

“Lady,” he said, “I’ll make free with you. I’ve known sorrow too. I have been as you are now; I have sat and felt the hours drawn out to the length of years. What cured me was the wars. I don’t think there’s any other cure.” (p. 90)

Here Bardia is taking an interest in Orual he’s not required to take. He sees a sad, young girl with no one but the Fox to comfort her. And he decides — because he has known sorrow also — to aid in her comfort.

And it turns out that Bardia’s “therapy” does help. Orual writes,

He kept me at it for a full half-hour. It was the hardest work I’d ever done, and, while it lasted, one could think of nothing else. I said not long before that work and weakness are comforters. But sweat is the kindest creature of the three — far better than philosophy, as a cure for ill thoughts.

Interesting to note that here it seems Orual finds more comfort in swordmanship with Bardia than in philosophy with the Fox.

6. Ashleigh - January 15, 2007

I missed an html tag. The middle section about Bardia taking an interest in Orual shouldn’t be a blockquote. Oh well!

7. heather - January 16, 2007

Something about Bardia always makes me picture the “gentle woodcutter” from fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel — someone extremely strong and brave, yet also gentle and kind. I loved that quote about the value of sweat, Ashleigh. It is amazing how a good, hard workout can clear your brain!

I loved pages 95-96 where Orual is describing the Mountain. She talks about topping a ridge and her struggle beginning: “And my struggle was this. You may well believe that I had set out sad enough; I came on a sad errand. Now, flung at me like frolic or insolence, there came as it were a voice — no words — but if you made it into words it would be, ‘Why should your heart not dance?’ She reasons with herself as to why her heart should not, but she has a hard time remembering the lesson when she looks around at the wonders of the world from the top of the Mountain. I loved this quote: “Even my ugliness I could not quite believe in. Who can feel ugly when the heart meets delight? It is as if, somewhere inside, within the hideous face and bony limbs, one is soft, fresh, lissom and desirable.”

8. Nicole - January 23, 2007

I found myself also pondering who to believe…I wanted to side with Orual because I’m growing so fond of her, however it seems as though something supernatural has come over Psyche. I agree with what Bethany said about the Christian life being something we see by faith, but then I actually thought about the reverse in how one who isnt’ a believer actually thinks that what their individual god is going to satisfy. They are blinded by this world and their sin and have fooled themselves into believing in a make believe god.

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