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Chapter 15: The Accuser August 27, 2007

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

1. In this chapter each of the six philosophers is dressed in a costume reflecting a day in the biblical account of Creation. Regarding Syme, we read:

If Syme had been able to see himself, he would have realised that he, too, seemed to be for the first time himself and no one else. For if the Secretary stood for that philosopher who loves the original and formless light, Syme was a type of poet who seeks always to make the light in special shapes, to split it up into the sun and star. The philosopher may sometimes love the infinite; the poet always loves the finite. For him the great moment is not the creation of light, but the creation of the sun and the moon.

What are your thoughts on Syme’s costume, and the costumes of the other philosphers, reflecting who they truly are? Especially since most of the book was devoted to things and people not being what they seem. What do you think Chesterton is trying to communicate to us?

2. What do you think Chesterton is using Sunday as a metaphor for?

3. What did you think of the six philosopher’s reaction to learning Sunday’s identity?

4. Where you surprised to see Gregory reappear? What did you think of his conversation with Syme?

5. What are your thoughts on the book’s ending? Was this a nightmare?

6. Other thoughts?


1. Danielle - August 29, 2007

I feel like this last chapter really didn’t illuminate much for me. Obviously, there are similarities with Christianity, but I’m not sure what Chesterton is trying to say with the philosophers representing each day of creation, and so on. I’m not sure what his point is. His point seems to be that the world is ruled by a supernatural Law that has been in existence for all time. This “peace of God” has suffered for all humanity, and as the Secretary stated, is the “ultimate reconciliation.” I still have to think about this a little bit. Any one else have any other ideas?

I like how after Syme comes to, he feels that “he was in possession of some impossible good news, which made every other thing a triviality, but an adorable triviality.” I think that’s how we as Christians should view the world. Although the things of this world are “trivial” in the sense that they are not eternal, they should be endeared to us, because it’s all part of creation. Each person, creature, flower can be enjoyed even more because of our “impossible good news.” Instead of some sober-faced Christians who take no joy or delight in “worldly” things but look on them in disdain, we can view nature, the accomplishments of man, the creativity of art, etc. as an “adorable triviality” that offers some reflection of the ultimate Creator.

Okay, that’s enough rambling for now.

2. bethany3boys - September 2, 2007

Danielle, I so felt like you. Not quite sure what he was trying to say. I am glad I wasn’t the only one.

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