Books V & VI
Books V & VI E-mail

Book V – The Grand Canyon

1.  Identify the characters in Mother Kirk’s story with Genesis 2 and 3.  Do you gain any new perspectives when you encounter a familiar Bible story in the new context of an allegory?

2.  What does the Grand Canyon represent?  What does Lewis mean by having Mother Kirk carry John and Vertue to the other side?  Why do they prefer to try it on their own?

3.  What is Lewis trying to reveal about Mr. Sensible’s character through the use of many quotations in other languages?

4.  What is the difference between Reason (see Book III, Chapter 9) and Mr. Sensible?

5.  Mr. Sensible’s ‘art of life’ or good life depends upon what?

Book VI – Northward Along the Canyon

1.  Who are the three pale men?  What do they disagree on?  What unites them?

2.  Mr. Neo-Angular, the Anglo-Catholic, believes in Mother Kirk as the way across the canyon.  However, he is dismissive of John’s deep desire for the Island.  Why?  What is John’s response?

3.  Background information:  Lewis wrote The Pilgrim’s Regress in August 1932.  Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany in January 1933.  We see Lewis’s prescience in assessing the violence, which would be unleashed on the world by Fascism, Nazism, and Communism.  Dr. Robert (Humphrey) Havard writes in an essay “Philia: Jack at Ease” (in C. S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminiscences, ed. James Como) that after the fall of France in June 1940 the Inklings reviewed passages in their writings that would “prove obnoxious to the Nazis” in the event of an invasion.  Lewis pointed to the paragraph about the black shirted dwarves.

Describe Savage and his entourage.  What flaws does he see with the three pale men?

4.  How does each of the three pale men respond to Vertue’s report of Savage and his plan to invade?  Why are Humanism and Classicism and even an ascetic form of Christianity unable to withstand an onslaught from violent totalitarian forces?

© 2015 by Allyson Wieland