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Friday, October 31, 2014

Questions For Our November 13th Meeting At Cristabel's

Our book is Till We Have Faces which is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche by C.S. Lewis.  The meeting is at Cristabel's and if you received the email from me then you know where that is and how to get there.  If not you can email me at  Elizabeth is our discussion leader and the questions are below.

Till We Have Faces is a retelling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche.  Some say it is an exploration of the Four Loves which Lewis wrote about elsewhere.  It was published in 1956.

1.      As in Till We Have Faces the Book of Job uses a trial format to call God to account for the events in Job’s life.  How are the motives of Orual and Job the same or different.  Each of them have changed their attitudes by the end of the book.  How are their final attitudes the same or different?
2.      Polytheistic religions appear to take the mysteries of nature and split them into manageable units (gods of the harvest etc).  What happens when you have monotheism, everything wrapped up into one god?  Does that change the meaning and power of the mystery?
3.      The Fox sees Ungit as being the same as Aphrodite, goddess of love.  Is this an appropriate comparison?  Compare Aphrodite, as she is in the myth of Cupid and Psyche, with Orual.
4.      Can you find the characters of “Till We Have Faces” in “The Great Divorce”?
5.      When Orual saw the vision of the palace she had a chance to change. What  parts of herself would she have had to “give up” in order to believe and make the palace real?  How might the story have been different if she had accepted her vision?
6.      In Chapter 14 we see the confrontation between Orual and Psyche. What are the different expressions of “love” that we see in this chapter and why does Psyche finally agree to carry out Orual’s demand?
7.      Orual tells us about her years as queen and how she shut out Orual and became Queen.  Is this quite true?  She could have made other choices as queen, she ends up being beloved by her people.  Is this perhaps  a part of her true self peeking out?  Do we ever completely mask our true selves?
8.      What events or thoughts start changing Orual’s view of her story?
9.      In “The Four Loves” Lewis names Affection (storge), Friendship(philia), Eros, and Charity(agape).  How were these distorted and manipulated by the characters in Till We Have Faces?
10.  How did Psyche express these same loves? In King Lear, Cordelia says to her father . ‘I love your majesty / According to my bond; no more nor less”  How does this express what Psyche says in Chapter 14.
11.  Why is it that holiness dwells in the dark places?
12.  Why do you think it is her father who first appears in her visions?
13.  What did Fox mean in the vision when he said that Orual bore all the anguish of Psyche’s trials?
14.  In the vision Fox says “This is the last of the tasks that Ungit has set her.  She must ..." Then there is a real Ungit?   “All, even Psyche, are born into the house of Ungit.”(page 301 in my book).  What name would you use for Ungit?
15.  In Psyche’s journey to get the beauty in the casket, how would you paraphrase the loves she overcomes?

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