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Till We Have Faces: Part II, Chapter 2 January 24, 2007

Posted by Danielle in Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis.
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We are discussing Part II, chapter 2. Leave and check out comments below.

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1. Michelle - January 24, 2007

ok… who is tracking on the “I am Ungit” thing???

2. Danielle - January 26, 2007

Michelle, I’ll try to think about this over the weekend . . . I have some thoughts on it.

3. heather - January 27, 2007

To me it goes back to that idea that “the loving and the devouring are all the same thing.” (p. 49) That is how Ungit is decribed at the beginning of the book and Ansit refers to it again in the previous chapter. She’s a goddess who requires countless bloody sacrifices and yet never seems appeased. There’s always something more she requires, and even then, they don’t know if she will act on their behalf. “Hateful to Ungit, is it? Why does Ungit not mend it then? She’s had the bulls and rams and goats from me in plenty; blood enough to sail a ship on if all were reckoned.” p. 45 I think that by saying “I am Ungit,” Orual is recognizing that she has been loving those around her the same way Ungit does — “devouring” them with her selfish love. Bardia is the obvious one I think of, given the exchange between Orual and Ansit in the last chapter. At this point she doesn’t see this in her love for Psyche, but it’s there. She wasn’t jealous in the sense of wanting what Psyche had; she was jealous in the sense of wanting to keep Psyche’s love for herself.

When I think about this whole issue of love — selfish vs. selfless — there’s a part of me that wishes, for a moment, we could have a glimpse into Bardia’s thoughts on the matter. He was loving his Queen sacrificially, and doesn’t seem to begrudge her for it. Would he still have given his best to his kingdom and Queen, even if she hadn’t demanded it of him? I’m not sure I’m explaining this well, but I see his love and service to his Queen as being similar to a mother’s love for her child — the type of selfless love that gives regardless of what is given back, the type of love that gives without even being asked. Would we call that type of love and devotion wrong? Or would we just see it as a man laying down his life for his friend? I’m not letting Orual off the hook with this — I still think she was wrong to love Bardia so selfishly. I’m just saying that perhaps his sacrifices on her behalf were motivated out of his love for her as his Queen, and not by her selfish requirements of him. Maybe he was like the peasant woman described on page 272 of this chapter, who actually found comfort at the foot of a faceless stone. Are my ramblings making any sense? Or do I just need another cup of coffee to clear my head?

4. bethany3boys - January 31, 2007

Wow Heather good observations!!! I wonder too about Bardia as you say.

5. Ashleigh - February 2, 2007

Heather, yes, it would be very interesting to hear his side of the story. I loved your comparison of his devotion to that of a mother to a child.


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