jump to navigation

Till We Have Faces: Part II, Chapter 3 January 25, 2007

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

We are discussing Part II, chapter 3. Leave and check out comments below.



1. heather - February 2, 2007

One of the passages that really struck me in this chapter was towards the beginning, when Orual has realized her own ugliness of soul and she attempts to change it herself. For me, it points to the idea of a “works” mentality and trying to do things in my own strength:

“But if I practiced true philosophy, as Socrates meant it, I should change my ulgy soul into a fair one. And this, the gods helping me, I would do. I would set about it at once.

The gods helping…but would they help? Nevertheless I must begin. And it seemed to me they would not help. I would set out boldly each morning to be just and calm and wise in all my thoughts and acts; but before they had finished dressing me I would find that I was back (and knew not how long I had been back) in some old rage, resentment, grawing fantasy, or sullen bitterness. I could not hold out half an hour. And a horrible memory crept into my mind of those days when I had tried to mend the ugliness of my hair or the colours I wore. I’d a cold fear that I was at the same work again. I could mend my soul no more than my face. Unless the gods helped. And why did the gods not help?” p. 282

Sounds a lot like stapling fruit on trees, doesn’t it? I know I’m guilty of trying to mend my own ugliness of soul in my own strength, and like Orual, I can’t even make it passed getting dressed!

2. heather - February 2, 2007

I love the symbolism in the way Orual’s book looks at the end of this chapter. In her mind, she has a great case against the gods. We’ve just read her eloquent arguments which went on for many chapters. Even a couple of pages back, she was still not recognizing her selfish love for Psyche: “I had only one comfort left me. However I might have devoured Bardia, I had at least loved Psyche truly.” p. 285 Yet here she is, standing before the judge, and her book, her complaint, doesn’t look right: “I looked at the roll in my hand and saw at once that it was not the book I had written. It couldn’t be; it was far too small. And too old — a little, shabby, crumpled thing, nothing like my great book that I had worked on all day, day after day, while Bardia was dying. I thought I would fling it down and trample on it. I’d tell them someone had stolen my complaint and slipped this thing into my hand instead. Yet I found myself unrolling it. It was written all over inside, but the hand was not like mine. It was all a vile scribble — each stroke mean and yet savage, like the snarl in my father’s voice, like the ruinous faces one could make out in the Ungit stone.” p. 290 What follows is the bitter ranting of a jealous woman. How interesting that without even realizing it, she had read and re-read the vile words on that roll over and over: “But to steal her love from me, to make her see things I couldn’t see!” “The girls was mine.” “I was my own and Psyche was mine and no one else had any right to her.” “You stole her to make her happy, did you?” “Did you ever remember whose the girl was? She was mine. Mine!”

Enough! said the judge.

Then comes that moment when she sees that this really is her true complaint: “Now I knew that I had been reading it over and over…and the voice I read it in was strange to my ears. There was given to me a certainty that this, at last, was my real voice.” p. 292

3. Danielle - February 2, 2007

Great point Heather. Thanks for elaborating on this section of the book.

4. bethany3boys - February 6, 2007

I second what Danielle said…Those were great point Heather. It reveals her works mentality and her jealousy quite perfectly.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: