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Chapter 6: The Exposure August 10, 2007

Posted by Ashleigh in The Man Who Was Thursday by GK Chesterton.

1. At the breakfast table Syme begins to fear for himself. He senses that Sunday is always looking at him. We read that Syme “had hardly the shred of doubt that in some silent and extraordinary way Sunday had found out that he was a spy.” Do you think Sunday knows that Syme is a spy and, if so, why do you think this? Or do you think that Syme is simply paranoid and, if so, why?

2. We are told that “It never occured to him [Syme] to be spiritually won over to the enemy. Many modern, inured to a weak worship of intellect and force, might have wavered in their allegiance under this oppression of a great personality. . . . But this was the kind of modern meanness to which Syme could not even sink even in his extreme morbidity. Like any man, he was coward enough to fear great force; but he was not quite coward enough to admire it.” Do you think this will benefit Syme in future chapters, giving him the strength to do the right thing? Or do you think he’ll eventually be won over? Tell us why you feel the way you do.

3. What did you think of the old Professor’s statement that “every man knows in his heart that nothing is worth doing”?

4. What was your reaction to learn that Syme isn’t the only spy in the council?

5. Any additional thoughts on this chapter?



1. Michelle - August 13, 2007

1. I seem to think that Syme is paranoid, mainly because who wouldn’t be if they were in his situation. I was a bit surprised though. It felt like there was a shift because Syme had seemed so relaxed and self assured until now.

4. My initial reaction was – man, if they’d only knew they had each other, they could have formed an alliance and conquered Sunday.

2. Ashleigh - August 15, 2007

Michelle, that’s a great observation on how Syme seems to change. I hadn’t noticed that. But you’re right, he goes from being very confident to almost afraid of his own shadow.

3. Danielle - August 19, 2007

1. I think Sunday knows he is a spy, but I can’t say that I have anything to support why I think this from the text. It’s just the feeling I get from reading this chapter.

2. I don’t think Syme will be won over because of his disgust for these men and what they stand for.

4. I was very surprised! I also was surprised by the way Sunday handled the situation.

4. Ashleigh - August 22, 2007

For me, the Professor’s statement that “every man knows in his heart that nothing is worth doing” reminded me of the Book of Ecclesiastes. In it Solomon seems to keep reiterating that everything is meaningless. It turns my thoughts to how when we strive to do things in life that aren’t aimed at ultimately bringing glory to God then that what we are doing is in a way meaningless. But, when we strive to “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-12), there’s meaning to what we do.

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