Chapters 7-9
Chapters 7-9 E-mail

Surprised by Joy

Chapters 7-9


Chapter 7

1.  Discuss Lewis's taste in books.  With whom could he share these tastes?

2.  What pushed Lewis over the edge into becoming a prig or highbrow?  What was Lewis's critique of the Wyvernian hierarchy?

3.  Lewis speculated that the bigger boys might have been able to hold their own without the fagging.  If so, why did the culture of fagging persist?

4.  According to Lewis, what was the essential evil of public school life?

5.  If you had been a contemporary of Lewis, would you agree with his position on pederasty?

6.  Describe Smewgy.  What were the qualities that endeared him to Lewis?

7.  Discuss Lewis's feelings of pessimism as they relate to his anti-theism at the time.  Why could he not maintain the idea that creation is a great injustice?  To what does Lewis attribute his views at that time?

Chapter 8

8.  Explain the duality of existence that perplexed Lewis.

9.  Describe the relationship/interaction:

a.  Between Lewis and his father
b.  Between Warnie and his father
c.  Betweeh Lewis an Warnie
d.  When the three of them were together

10.  What good fortune did Lewis experience to offset his bad fortune (i.e. unpleasantness at home and school)?  What year was it and what was happening in the world?

Chapter 9

11.  Describe Mr. Kirkpatrick (the Great Knock).  Describe how Jack and Kirk's very first conversation set the tone for the future.

12.  Kirk was an Atheist.  Lewis contends that Atheism has come down in the world.  What does he mean?

13.  Describe a "normal" day at Bookham.  Would you enjoy a schedule like this?

14.  What connection does Lewis draw between true training for art and nature and true training for the Christian life?


Please see the handout from the website for additional notes.

Oliver Goldsmith (1731-1774):  Irish-born English poet, playwright, and novelist.  One of his most noted works is The Vicar of Wakefield.

mountebank:  a flamboyant charlatan.  Here, probably an intellectual fraud.

Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999):  Scottish writer of over 90 books, which spanned a variety of genres including historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and memoir.  She was also a good friend of J. R. R. Tolkien (and a proofreader for Lord of the Rings). 

William Morris (1834-1896):  a designer, poet, political activist and fantasy novelist.  With Eirikr Magnusson, he translated several Icelandic sagas.  Lewis saw Morris's fantasy novel The Well at the World's End on Arthur Greeves' bookshelf and bought his own copy.  Lewis mentions Morris and his works over 75 times in his correspondence to Greeves (second only to George MacDonald).
                Lewis also wrote an essay (originally a lecture) on William Morris that attempted to restore Morris to his proper place in English literature.  (Morris's work had been criticized as escapist.)  Lewis praised Morris as a modern "pagan poet" who offers the Christian reader an invaluable depiction of true skepticism and contended that Morris spoke the truth about what life without God must entail.

whistlepainter:  your guess; obviously a derogatory term

phillipics:  tirades

:  those who exhibit smug ignorance and conventionalism; in this context refers to literary tastes

James Stephens (1882-1950):  his best know work, Crock of Gold, is a novel based on Irish legend, combining humor, realism and fantasy.

Corpus Poeticum Boreale:  a "northern" anthology

Loki:  in Scandinavian myth, the Satanic Aesir, god of strife and evil who contrived the death of Balder, god of light

Thor:  Norse god of thunder

Odin:  Norse god of wisdom and war.  Creator of the cosmos.

Manalive by G. K. Chesterton (1912):  a novel in two parts.  Part I features the arrival of a new tenant, named Innocent Smith, at a boarding house.  He proceeds to breath new life into the place and inspire the others to pursue their dreams and reconcile past conflicts.  Then two doctors appear with a report that Smith is a wanted man for burglary, polygamy and attempted murder.  Before turning him over, the residents of the boarding house conduct their own trial, which is Part II.  Valid explanations are uncovered for each of the charges, and Smith is found to be indeed Innocent.

Pearl:  probably "The Pearl," a late 14th century Middle English poem by one known as the pearl poet.

Conachar MacNessa (also spelled Conchobor):  King of Ulster in Irish mythology; his name came from his mother, who had been raped by a druid, Cathbad MacRossa.  His mother later married Fergus MacRoich, king of Ulster,and tricked him into letting her son rule.

Tristam Shandy: character developed by Lawrence Sterne (1713-1768), who was to be spontaneous and untrammeled; full of non-sequiturs to the point of dissociation.

pikestaff: walking stick

"sensation is sensation": from volume 5 of The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell.  Johnson was fatigued by a host's excessive efforts to entertain him.  Boswell said the host meant well, to which Johnson replied, "True, Sir; but sensation is sensation."  Boswell observed, "we feel pain equally from the surgeon's probe, as from the sword of the foe."

the sin of Ham:  refers to the account in Genesis 9:20-25 where Noah got drunk and was naked in this tent.  Ham saw his father's nakedness and reported it to his brothers.  Meanwhile, his two brothers walked in backwards with a cloak to cover their father.  Ham gossiped about his father's embarrassing condition; by contrast Shem and Japheth sought to preserve Noah's dignity.

The Lanchester Tradition: a school story by G.F. Bradley that first came out in 1913 and had several reprintings.

John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854):  Scottish biographer of Sir Walter Scott.  His biography is considered second only to Boswell.  Lockhart was married to Scott's oldest daughter Sophia.

Logical Positivists:  refers to a group of philosophers, scientists and mathematicians in the early 20th century who exclusively used logical analysis to establish positive theses.  In their official statement, they aimed to: (1) provide a secure foundation for the sciences, and (2) show the meaninglessness of metaphysics.

Dialectic:  reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation; the Socratic techniques of exposing false belief and eliciting truth

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860): pessimistic German philosopher propounding that ultimate reality is "will."  Only by renouncing desire can the will be allayed.

© 2012 by Allyson Wieland