TWHF chapters 14-21
TWHF chapters 14-21 E-mail

Till We Have Faces
Chapters 14-21


Chapter 14

1.  Read the following excerpts from The Four Loves.  How does Lewis flesh out these concepts in chapter 14?

The rivalry between all natural loves and the love of God is something a Christian dare not forget.  God is the great Rival, the ultimate object of human jealousy; that beauty, terrible as the Gorgon's, which may at any moment steal from me-or it seems like stealing to me-my wife's or husband's or daughter's heart (p.38).

Change is a threat to Affection.... Few things in the ordinary peacetime life of a civilized country are more nearly fiendish than the rancour with which a whole unbelieving family will turn on the one member of it who has become a Christian, or a whole low-brow family on the one who shows signs of becoming an intellectual.... It is the reaction to a desertion, even to robbery.  Someone or something has stolen "our" boy (or girl).  He who was one of Us has become one of Them.  What right had anybody to do it?  He is ours (p.45-47

If we try to live by Affection alone, Affection will "go bad on us" (p.55).

But then a love like Mrs. Fidget's contains a good deal of hatred.  It was of erotic love that the Roman poet said, "I love and hate," but other kinds of love admit the same mixture.  They carry in them the seeds of hatred.  If Affection is made the absolute sovereign of a human life the seeds will germinate.  Love, having become a god, becomes a demon (p.56).

2.  What does Psyche mean when she tells Orual, "You are indeed teaching me about kinds of love I did not know" (p.165).  Compare the love of Orual with the love of Psyche.

Chapter 15

3.  Describe the creature Orual sees when Psyche lights the lamp.  What did he reveal to Orual about herself?

4.  What do you think the judgments on Psyche (exile) and Orual ("you also shall be Psyche") mean?

5.  Orual contends that the gods are to blame for Psyche's fate because had the gods let her know Psyche was safe with the Beast she would not have acted as she did.  Is Orual being honest with herself?

Chapter 16

6.  How does Orual's secrecy about what happened on the mountain diminish her relationship with the Fox?

7.  Look at the times Orual is veiled.

     a. the king's marriage (p.11)

     b. trips to the mountain (p.93 and 154)

     c. to wear her veil permanently (p.180)

Why was Orual veiled?  What might the veil symbolize?  Consider also Exodus 34:33-35; 2 Corinthians 3:13-18; and chapter 4 of Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer.

Chapter 17

8.  Why did Orual want to become queen?  How did she see "the Queen" as separate from "Orual"?  How does the role help Orual cheat the gods?  Do you see any parallels between Orual and Queen Elizabeth I?

Chapter 18

9.  Contrast the way the Fox and Orual understand love.


Chapter 19

10.  Describe Orual's exhilaration after winning the duel.  Why does her mood change?  What is the significance of her statement, "I am the Queen; I'll kill Orual too" (p.225)?

Chapter 20

11.  What effect did her veil have on Orual's life?  How did people react to her veil?

12.  What is the significance of the sound made by chains in the well?

13.  How did Orual treat Batta?  Her other household slaves?  Review some of the changes she makes during her reign as queen.

14.  Often we see Orual repressing her femininity.  There are comments by her and others demeaning women.  E.g. "The one sin the gods never forgive us is that of being born women" (p.233).  How much of the gender self-loathing is attributed to Orual's inner conflict and how much is the culture of Glome?

15.  What changes happen to Ungit's house?  Does this suggest a shift in the role of religion in Glome?

Chapter 21

16.  During her foreign travels, Orual visits a small temple to a new goddess named Istra (Psyche's Glomish name).  What are the differences in the story the priest tells and Orual's account? 

17.  Why does Orual want to write her book?  List her charges against the gods.

18.  "Why must holy places be dark places?" (p.50 and 249).  According to Orual, the gods have no answer (p.3-4 and 250).  Are the gods deliberately silent as she maintains?  If so, why don't the gods answer?  If not, what is their answer?

2011 by Allyson Wieland