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Till We Have Faces: Chapter 21 January 21, 2007

Posted by Danielle in Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
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We are discussing chapter 21. Leave and check out comments below.

What do you think about the difference between Orual’s story and the story the old man tells her about Psyche, the goddess? Orual is very upset at being portrayed as jealous and now resolves to tell her version of the story (which we’ve already been reading).

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1. Danielle - January 21, 2007

It’s interesting that Orual, who refused to believe Psyche’s story, now acknowledges–by the very act of writing her story to combat their power–that she believes in gods after all:

“That moment I resolved to write this book. For years now my old quarrel with the gods had slept. I had come into Bardia’s way of thinking; I no longer meddled with them. Often, though I had seen a god myself, I was near to believing that there are no such things. The memory of his voice and face was kept in one of those rooms of my soul that I didn’t lightly unlock. Now, instantly, I knew I was facing them–I with no strength and they with all; I visible to them, they invisible to me; I easily wounded (already so woulnded that all my life had been but a hiding and staunching of the wound), they invulnerable. I one, they many.” (pg. 244-245)

Orual has been viewing herself as a victim, an innocent victim. She has been a victim of the gods. This she sets out to prove by the writing of her story.

2. Michelle - January 22, 2007

Good observation Danielle.

The entire reason she has set out to tell her version of the story is to explain herself, to justify her actions. She asks us to judge between the god’s and her, saying they ignored her request for a clear sign and are punishing her for her incorrect guess. Yet, as I see it, the truth is not much kinder to her than the priests story. She admits herself that she saw the palace. She knew the truth but refused to hear/see it.

3. Nicole - January 28, 2007

Interesting point Danielle about Orual finally admitting to herself that she did see the palace. It’s at this point that Orual actually begins to look at herself as a possibility for having faults and not only blaming someone else.

4. Ashleigh - February 2, 2007

I found it interesting that while Orual continually states that there was no jealousy on her part, it seems that there was. It wasn’t because “her husband and her house were so much finer than theirs” (p. 244), it was jealousy that Psyche could love and be devoted to someone more than she was to Orual.


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