Sunday, February 17, 2008
Till We Have Faces: Chapters 9-15
Of course I meant to read three chapters and then do a new entry, but I couldn't stop reading on our way to church. I did look through my Book of C.S. Lewis Letters, but this morning I looked in the wrong place in the Index, and then I didn't find anything else, so I picked up a different book. I picked it up again a minute ago and found the right spot in the Index and found that there was still a ton of stuff I could find out...but perhaps when I do an Overview at the end.
In this chapter, one of Lewis's line stood out (perhaps partially because I had read it online while looking for information on the story. Actually, a lot of surfing was what lead to knowing which letters to look at.)
The line was : "Why should our hearts not dance?"
It's obvious why this is a beautiful line. (Some how this reminds me of a scene in Ted Dekker's book The Martyr's Song....and the song itself....maybe I'll reread it sometime and I'll explain it all on the review. Consequently, Dekker was influenced by Lewis.) I think this is what we must feel like when we are most happy. I wonder if Lewis knew what that felt like? He certainly knew what sadness felt like, because when he was a child his mother died. He described crying in a way I could relate too, although I can't remember the exact words. It is an obvious question, yet it is like a line of poetry. Why? It's like an exclamation of: "Why shouldn't I be happy?" or "Why shouldn't I laugh?" Lewis had some ingenious little golden lines in his books that just stand out. They might make you laugh or they might just make happiness swell up and make your eyes lift. The line that I'm thinking of in Perelandra is...."Ransome could have danced with impatience."
It made me laugh out loud....I think I highlighted it. It was just funny to me. I didn't notice that both of those lines contained the word dance until now. :)
We also get to see more of Bardia in Chapter Nine, which I enjoyed....I think Bardia would be a good name for a sweet tempered Golden Retriever. I've had an obsession with dogs and dog names lately for some reason. :)
In Chapter Ten, we find that Psyche is alive. Oh joy! But Orual is soon dismayed at hearing of Psyche's adventure and her account of the gods in that story. As soon as she hears of the palace and finds that she cannot see it, she is immediately angry and confused with Psyche and herself. The fact that Orual cannot see Psyche's great palace is something that Lewis talked about a lot in his letters to others about 'TWHF.' In Orual's eyes, Psyche is wearing a rag, when she is really wearing a robe. She cannot see any of the beautiful riches around her.
Tensions rise. Orual is confused and suspicious. Psyche is a little confused at first, I think. And probably very disappointed. Orual is her sister. Orual practically raised her. Orual is almost a mother to her. Imagine her shock and horror when Orual insists that Psyche has gone mad. Psyche bids Orual go across the river back to Bardia.
I think that Orual's love for Psyche becomes possessive and selfish, and understandably so. I wonder if Orual has desired to be like Psyche, and as beautiful as Psyche, because of her ugliness. In Chapter Fifteen, Cupid says to Orual, "You shall also be Psyche."
I don't claim all of these thoughts to be correct, but based on what I have read and what I have found out by surfing, this may be part of the reason of the title. I'll wait until I get to this later in the book to talk about it any more.
Most of my best thoughts are for chapter fifteen. Orual insists that Psyche should light the lamp to see the face of Cupid. Orual is kind of like Doubting Thomas...she doesn't believe in all of those things because she can't see them. It's irrational. It's silly. Why should she believe in them? She desires to make Psyche see things her way, because everybody always has to be right.
Every way of man is just in his own eyes.
That's part of a scripture in Proverbs.
Orual also tempted Psyche, and argued with her and taunted her until she agreed to light the lamp, even when she herself began to doubt it. Orual knew that it was wrong, after she pondered. Yet, she did not call Psyche off of lighting the lamp. However, Psyche in turn did as her sister asked. She also knew it was wrong, and she knew there would be dire consequences.
I better stop now before I make a mess of the book....I feel like I didn't have anything very good to say about these chapters, but thanks for reading them. :)