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Chapter 14: The Six Philosophers August 24, 2007

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

1. At one point Syme says:

Listen to me…. Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutual. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front —

What truth can we draw from this?

2. Why do you think Syme is being asked to dress like the fourth day of creation?

3. The last line of this chapter is: “For these disguises did not disguise, but reveal.” What do you think this means?

4. Other thoughts?


1. Danielle - August 29, 2007

1. That the physical (what we see) is not all there is. The front, as Syme puts it, is the spiritual part of the world: the unseen.

2. Since Thursday is the 4th day of creation, for some reason Syme represents this. It seems that all the Philosophers are important and were handpicked for this purpose, but I’m not sure what that purpose is.

3. In the next chapter, “The Accuser” it says:

“If Syme had been able to see himself, he would have realized that he too, seemed to be for the first time himself and no one else.”

I think the quote about the disguises did not disguise but reveal means that somehow these men are becoming their real selves. That the symbolism for Monday, Tuesday, etc. is really who they are becoming or who they were all along. I’m not sure which.

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