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C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces, Chapter 6

            Chapter 6 is a short chapter that chiefly relates events in the palace the day before Psyche is to be offered to the god of the Mountain.  Its function is to carry forth the narrative and doesn’t offer much in the way of new insights.  Here are some brief thoughts.

            Probably the most interesting statement is made by King Trom.  When criticized by the Fox for not saving Psyche, he claims to be putting the kingdom’s good before his own family.  Eerily reminiscent of Caiaphas’s comment about Jesus in John 11:50, King Trom states, “It’s only sense that one should die for many” (61).  This continues the theme of expiation in the last chapter.  Does it make Psyche a “Christ figure”?  We need to avoid making Faces into an allegory, but, as a symbol or type of Christ, I think that it is true.

            In addition, Orual continues to complain about the gods and that the palace was not filled with the “reek of holiness” (62).  Here, it is useful to recall that Faces is her complaint against the god.

            Finally, Bardia, the faithful captain of the guard whose heart is breaking over the sacrifice of Psyche, utters a phrase pregnant with meaning and emotion.  “I wonder do the gods know what it feels like to be a man” (66).  The Christian who believes in the Incarnation should answer that God knows what it feels like to be a man even more than we do.  The chapter ends with Orual persuading the guard Bardia to let her be with Psyche for a while.  The conversation between the two sisters will be very revealing.

2 thoughts on “C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces, Chapter 6

  1. I love this part of the story, Bill. Partly because I love seeing Orual have such strength and skill as to impress Bardia, but mostly because of Bardia’s statement that you quoted. How beautiful it is that we DO have a God that knows what it is like to walk as a man! Better yet, one that did so without sin, showing us the way, healing, teaching, serving and loving us to the very end, even unto death (and victorious over hell, death, and the grave.)
    What a God!

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