Chapters 10-12
Chapters 10-12 E-mail

Surprised by Joy

Chapters 10-12

Chapter 10

1.  Where was Warnie while Jack was at Bookham studying under Kirkpatrick?  Who "replaced" Warnie as Jack's confidant?  How did he influence Jack?

2.  How did Lewis measure distance?  Do you agree/disagree with his opinion on modern transport and space?

3.  How did Lewis view his upcoming military service?  What do you think of his attitude?

4.  What was one of Lewis's "worst acts" of his life?  Why did he do it?

Chapter 11

5.  The more Lewis dug into Norse mythology, the less he found Joy there.  Why? 

6.  What are the two deadly errors in seeking one's desires?

7.  What was Lewis discovering about the bifurcation of his imaginative and intellectual life? 

8.  Why did Lewis want materialism to be true?  What shook his confidence in it?

Chapter 12

9.  Why did Lewis consider the Army less detestable than Wyvern (his old boarding school)?

10.  While recuperating from trench fever, Lewis discovered another author who would leave an impression--G. K. Chesterton.  What did Lewis like about Chesterton?

11.  Summarize Lewis's World War I experience.  What do you think of the manner in which he treated the topic?


Please see the handout from the website for additional notes.

Alberich:  lit. "king of elves"; in the Nibelungenlied, he is the elf who guards the treasure.

askesis: the practice of severe self-discipline

materialism:  the theory that physical matter is the only fundamental reality.  All things can be fully explained as by-products of material forces.  It is the operating principle of modern science.

John Ruskin (1819-1900):  English art critic and social thinker.  He wrote on a wide range of subjects, such as art, myth, education, botony and politics.  He was the Slade Professor Fine Art at Oxford and started the Ruskin School of Drawing while there.  In the 1850s, he became interested in politics, advocating a form of Christian Socialism.  He influenced the early members of Britain's Labour Party. 

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939):  Irish poet and Nobel Prize winner, Yeats was a religious skeptic who sought a substitute for religion.  Mysticism, realism, Nietzschean and metaphysical traditions influenced his poetry.  His prose emphasized paradox.  Yeats' practice of magic caused Lewis to see that it was possible for a learned writer to reject materialism.  This introduced doubt into Lewis's materialistic worldview.

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (1872-1898):  an English illustrator who died at age 25 from tuberculosis.  His drawings, done in black ink, were considered dark, grotesque and macabre, involving themes of history, mythology and erotica.  He was influential in the Art Nouveau movement.

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949):  Belgian essayist and playwright and winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize for Literature.  He admired Schopenhauer and believed man to be powerless against fate.  He was also interested in the occult, finding Christianity's answers unsatisfactory to life's questions.

Pantheism:  doctrine that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe.  God is inherent in nature.

George MacDonald (1824-1905):  Scottish poet, preacher and novelist.  Probably the greatest single influence on Lewis.  Lewis re-read Phantastes many times as a devotional.  He said the book baptized his imagination.  Lewis made MacDonald a central figure in his novel The Great Divorce.  Lewis wrote in the preface to an anthology of MacDonald's works: "I have never concealed the fact that I regard him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him."

idolon:  perhaps related to eidolon, a mental vision of an idea.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1876-1936): a Roman Catholic social critic and author of numerous books including the Father Brown mysteries.  Lewis had more books by Chesterton in his personal library than any other author save George MacDonald.  Lewis referred to Chesterton in many letters and 13 of his books.  Chesterton's The Everlasting Man played a part in Lewis's conversion.  The year before he died, Lewis listed it as one of the ten books that had the greatest influence in shping his philosophy of life.

© 2012 by Allyson Wieland