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Chapter 7 - part 2

The final book in Lewis' theological science fiction Space Trilogy.

Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 29 Mar 2010, 18:38

Synopsis : Jane is overwhelmed by the charisma of the Director that she can't concentrate on what he has to tell her. So he repeats that while he is anxious for her to join his company, she can't without the permission of her husband. Jane does not understand why. Mr. Fisher-King illustrates for her what obedience is all about with the mice which live at the manor. As Jane marvels at how these tiny animals can live along with humans without disturbing anyone, a huge presence descends upon the room which makes Jane think of herself as a tiny creature. The Director asks her to leave immediatly.

Jane is more than willing to join the company of Mr. Fisher-King. And he would deeply appreciate her help. But there is one very big problem. Mark's membership with the N.I.C.E. The Director's superiors insist on holding to the law. In this case it is the natural law that married couples become "one flesh", an inseparable whole. There is no way half of such a couple could be allowed to work at St. Anne's while the other half is in league with The Enemy. The only solution is for Jane to get Mark to leave Belbury and join her at St. Anne's. The incredible magnetic personality of the Director makes it very easy for Jane to follow his orders. Maybe too easy.
The Director attempts to instruct Jane about the importance of obedience to her husband. Jane responds to him favorably, thought not in the way he intended. Jane expressed a desire to obey the Director rather than Mark. So the Director corrected her immediately :
"Stop it!" said the Director sharply

Mr. Fisher-King had to wake Jane up from her missplaced enthusiasm because he wanted to convince her to do what was right. Not to seduce her into yielding to his charm. This shows a great deal of sincerity on the part of the Director.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby narnia56 » 29 Mar 2010, 18:45

Yeah! nice story! and but I did not read chapter 1 I only read chapter 7.
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 30 Mar 2010, 08:39

I have a lot more to say about part 2 of this chapter. But I did not have time to post it all today. I hope to post the rest by tomorrow.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby agingjb » 31 Mar 2010, 07:00

Was Ransom's "Stop it" directed at Jane?
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 31 Mar 2010, 10:15

agingjb wrote:Was Ransom's "Stop it" directed at Jane?


Yes. Ransom, or Mr. Fisher-King as he is called in this book, wants to convince Jane to join his company. But he does not want to seduce her with his unearthly charisam. That would be an affront to Jane's free will, not obedience. I shall explain more about the Director's God given talent the next time I post.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Matthew Whaley » 01 Apr 2010, 02:31

Every time I've read that passage I thought Ransom was speaking to the Eldils. But Kanakaberaka is right about Jane falling under the Directors spell. If his unearthly charisma is a gift from God, he has to be very careful not to take liberties with it. He may be tempted to use that gift for his own comfort and enrichment. Mr. Fisher-King is not immune to temptation, and could easily fall into sin by coveting another mans wife. He could be correcting himself as well as Jane, even if the words "stop it" were directed at Jane.
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in." -Robert Frost
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby agingjb » 01 Apr 2010, 08:35

Indeed. I have always supposed that "Stop it!" was an exorcism.
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 03 Apr 2010, 05:44

The Director gives Jane a lesson about obedience, but first he must have a meal for himself. He lives on only bread and wine. He explains to Jane -
"I live like the King in Curdie. It is a surprisingly pleasant diet"


Mr. Fisher-King must be refering to The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald, a book which Jane admits she has never read. It is the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin. In chapter 19 of Curdie I noticed this quote -
'Are you aware, young man,' said the doctor, 'that it is not every wine can do His Majesty the benefit I intend he should derive from my prescription?'

So maybe the Director lives on bread and wine as a sort of cure for his grievous wound. This seems to imply that the only remedy for diabolic hurt, such as sin, is the Eucharist. But the lesson goes on as the Director spills his left-over crumbs on the floor. As he blows a whistle, three mice come out from behind a coal box to eat up those crumbs. When they finish the Director blows the whistle again, and all three mice run back to their hiding place. Mr. Fisher-King explains to Jane that this is what obedience is meant to be. He likens it to a dance rather than a military drill. The mice get to eat the crumbs and the Director gets his floor cleaned. I can see Lewis' point about each helping the other. But I feel that there is a condescending attitude on the part of the author expressed here. The master gets to eat his freshly baked bread. The mice should be happy to eat whatever crumbs are left over when the master is done. I realize that Lewis has already answered this question saying that humans have dominion over animals. But I can't help thinking how many other people might interpret the Director's benevolence toward the mice as charity towards lower class people. Then again, I also recall the plea of the Cananite woman to Jesus for the "crumbs of the food" meant for His chosen people.
so it goes...
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Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 04 Apr 2010, 17:02

After Jane loses her dislike for these mice by seeing them as "dainty quadrapeds" and likening them to tiny kangaroos, a sensation of "hugeness" comes over her.
"How huge we must seem to them," said Jane


Then suddenly her perspective is turned upside down. She senses somthing huge comming down upon her in the Director's room, although she has no idea what it is. Of course it has to be one of the eldils or more likely the Oyarsa of Malacandra or Perelandra come to pay Mr. Fisher-King a visit. Unlike Jane, he has become acclimated to this perspective shifting experience. Jane thought of herself as master of her own world. Now a spirit being from another arrives to shatter that view to bits.

I enjoyed to juxtaposition comparing mice to humans being shifted to humans and angelic beings. Lewis gives us a feel for how us mortals would "shrink" from the presence of a genuine being of light. He reminds us of the Shepherds in the Gospels who have to be reassured "Fear not" from the angels announcing the birth of Christ.

No wonder the Director politely told Jane to leave his room at the arrival of this visitor from another world.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Matthew Whaley » 04 Apr 2010, 17:39

I was also thinking of the prophet Isaiah when he was transported into God's throneroom; he said, " Woe is me I am undone.."
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in." -Robert Frost
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God's presence or reflection

Postby Kanakaberaka » 04 Apr 2010, 19:25

Matthew Whaley wrote:I was also thinking of the prophet Isaiah when he was transported into God's throneroom; he said, " Woe is me I am undone.."


One of the things about Fisher-King's charisma which I found alarming was how easily he won over Jane's admiration. In real life I would be justly cynical about encountering such a person with his "too good to be true" personality. However, the descent of the Oyarsa into St. Anne's puts even the elevated Professor Ransom into proper perspective. It should be wise to remember that the glory shown through each of them is merely a reflection of God's power and not something either one can claim ownership of.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Matthew Whaley » 10 Apr 2010, 17:38

Do you think that maybe Jane was espeacially vulnerable to Ransom's charisma because in her marriage with Mark she is starved for affection?
I can't help but think that if Mark and Jane were enjoying each other as married lovers she would not have "caved in" so easily. Jane's education and experience have contributed to her view of men; she does not want to have to depend on them for anything. Her thinking is that she is not going to let any man define for her who she is; not even Mark. She thinks shes knows what is in a man. Then suddenly she meets the ideal man; more masculine, more powerful than she ever imagined a man could be, yet chaste and meek.
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in." -Robert Frost
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 11 Apr 2010, 03:11

Matthew Whaley wrote:Do you think that maybe Jane was espeacially vulnerable to Ransom's charisma because in her marriage with Mark she is starved for affection?


Yes.
But Mr. Fisher-King appears to be able to fill the void in anyone's life who seeks the love of God. Back in chapter 1, Jane sought the meaning of love through classic literature. Yet it did not satisfy her yearning just as her marriage to Mark turned out to be a dissapointment. The transfigured Ransom was given the power to transmit God's love as well as the wisdom about how to use it. That's why he had to warn Jane to stop her infatuation of him because only her husband, Mark should have recieved such attention.
so it goes...
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