The Great Divorce Lewis Summary

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C.S. Lewis was a writer and Christian apologist that was born in November of 1898 and died in November 1963. Of his many influential works, he is best known for his Christian texts such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity. However, in 1944, Lewis produced another instrumental work, The Great Divorce. This first person narrative is where Lewis attempts to discuss and illustrate a better understanding of Heaven and Hell, and the order in which one obtains salvation. Using descriptive imagery and symbolism he explains his thought process saying in his preface, “I beg readers to remember that this is a fantasy. It has of course- or intended it to have- a moral.” Thus, through a close reading of The Great Divorce,…show more content…
The lizard continuously whispers into the ghost’s ear, both terrorizing and influencing the ghost, as the ghost talks back and forth to it. When the spirit sees the Ghost with the Lizard leaving due to the frustration with the lizard, the spirit offers to silence the lizard by killing it. The ghost is apprehensive arguing with the spirit that he will consider letting him kill the lizard, but at a different time so he can think the decision over. The spirit stresses that if it is to be done it must be done immediately, at which point the ghost began to get frantic saying, “Why are you torturing me? You are jeering at me. How can I let you tear me in pieces? If you wanted to help me, why didn’t you kill the damned thing without asking me-before I knew?” (109). The spirit replies stating it is impossible to kill the lizard without the ghost’s will and permission, and although it may hurt the ghost it will not kill him to kill the lizard. Despite being enticed by the lizard, the ghost finally agrees declaring to the spirit, “You’re right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature” (109). After a quick flash of pain, the ghost transforms, along with the lizard, and the ghost rides away on the lizard, which is now a stallion. This analogy given by Lewis not only describes the free will of man, but also depicts the temptations that constantly rest upon humans. However, as the ghost rode away atop his stallion, Lewis shows how humans can also master their beast through their own

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