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Chapter 7 - part 3

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

Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby Kanakaberaka » 08 Apr 2010, 19:58

Synopsis : As Jane rides the train back home to Edgestow she has a debate among her "four selves". When her higher self wins out, she sees all the formerly mundane things around herself in a new light. She has worked her way out to a new enlightenment thanks to the intervention of Mr. Fisher-King. And yet this newfound jubilation comes to an abrupt halt as she arrives at the Edgestow train station to find herself surrounded by turmoil.

The four selves described by Jane appear to be stages in her life. The first seems to be an innocent child who has been won over to the Director's company through sheer wonder. The second Jane expresses an adolescent sense of cynisism about Fisher-King, and hates the first Jane becase of her devotion to him. The third Jane appears to be "born again" in the sense of her childhood self being resurrected to a more mature form. Even though this Jane is more advanced than the first two, she relies on feelings of guilt to get herself to do the morally correct thing. In this case being more attentive to her husband Mark. It takes a fourth Jane to put all the pieces together and experience pure joy in what she has been commanded to do. Something eminating from the Director has rubbed off on her. And now she sees every simple thing around her in a new light. Even the small talk from a wizened old man sharing her compartment becomes a delightful speech. She looks forward to haveing buttered toast when she gets back home. She takes nothing for granted in her life at present. All anxiety about her future has been put aside.

But Jane's simple joy collides against the present reality as she arrives at the Edgestow train station. Jane has no idea what is going on. before she is warned to stay on the train, she finds herself carried away with a rioting crowd of looters! Her wish to walk back home to sandown has been hijacked by the plans of the N.I.C.E.
so it goes...
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Surprised by Jane

Postby Kanakaberaka » 12 Apr 2010, 18:39

Jane's interior debate among her "three selves" appears to parallel the spiritual evolution C.S. Lewis described in his book Surprised By Joy. He came from a conventional Christian background. But as he entered adolescence he became a cynic who for all practical reasons was an atheist. It was only years later, after the World War and college that Lewis began to consider that Christianity might be true. Even more interesting is that Jane's newfound spiritual outlook comes to her as she is traveling by train. Lewis has his own Christian enlightenment as he was traveling on a motorcycle with his brother.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby The Bigsleep J » 12 Apr 2010, 20:26

Kanakaberaka wrote:But Jane's simple joy collides against the present reality as she arrives at the Edgestow train station. Jane has no idea what is going on. before she is warned to stay on the train, she finds herself carried away with a rioting crowd of looters! Her wish to walk back home to sandown has been hijacked by the plans of the N.I.C.E.


I find it an interesting contrast to the fact that she attained something of an inner peace, only to have her not-so-cozy outer world demolished suddenly by the intervention of the N.I.C.E. If anything, it must have been a terrifying wake-up call for her.
Insert supposedly witty but random absurd comment here and add water
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby paminala » 12 Apr 2010, 21:22

The timing of the riot, coming just as Jane has found her peace and is coming home intent on finding a way to get Mark out of the NICE struck me as a small foreshadowing of what the NICE would do to all of the world's peace if they were not opposed.
Lewis seems to be using Jane and Mark's marriage as a microcosm of the greater environment in the story.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
~ Galileo Galilei
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby johnster » 15 Apr 2010, 06:35

Hi, I'm new here. Chanced upon this excellent forum as I was researching the book online. Can anyone contribute to chapter synopsis and analysis?

Thanks.

John
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Jump right in!

Postby Kanakaberaka » 15 Apr 2010, 19:56

johnster wrote:Hi, I'm new here. Chanced upon this excellent forum as I was researching the book online. Can anyone contribute to chapter synopsis and analysis?

Thanks.

John


Yes. Feel free to add any comments you please to this study. Earlier studies I have done about Lewis' Space Trilogy have been archived because of thier age. But this one is still ongoing. In fact I want as many posters to contribute their own thoughts about That Hideous Strength while they still can.
Thank you for your interest.

- Jim
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby Matthew Whaley » 18 Apr 2010, 00:01

I think it's very interesting that Jane's husband, Mark, wrote the "news" and editorial articles that helped create the riot!
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in." -Robert Frost
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boomarang

Postby Kanakaberaka » 18 Apr 2010, 02:36

Matthew Whaley wrote:I think it's very interesting that Jane's husband, Mark, wrote the "news" and editorial articles that helped create the riot!


And quite ironic that he was unaware of the danger she was in. False reassurances from the Fairy saw to that.
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby Matthew Whaley » 09 May 2010, 04:55

Jane's inner peace is a result of meeting the Director; she does nothing to earn it; unlike Mark who is being constantly challenged to do more and more things to prove he is worthy to have a position at the N.I.C.E. He is purposley harassed and kept in the dark to keep him in a constant state of anxiety so that he has no time to think of anything or anyone but himself. Screwtape would be proud.
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
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Re: Chapter 7 - part 3

Postby paminala » 13 May 2010, 16:39

Matthew Whaley wrote:Jane's inner peace is a result of meeting the Director; she does nothing to earn it; unlike Mark who is being constantly challenged to do more and more things to prove he is worthy to have a position at the N.I.C.E.


I don't know that I quite agree with this. Consider what is being asked of Jane at this point. She has basically been left to fend for herself by Mark while at the same time she may not act only in her own self interest. For perhaps the first time in her adult life she is acting entirely on her own decisions. In just going out to the compound and agreeing to meet with Ransom (the Director) Jane has done quite a lot. Then, in the course of that meeting, she confronts ideas that she has held so long and so closely that they have become essentially part of her Self and begins to see them as false.
The hurdles she is facing at this point are all internal. These are actually much harder to face and overcome than external challenges ever are.
Mark will face similar ones but not until later. It is the fact that he is being constantly challanged to prove his worthiness that keeps him from looking inward and seeing what is lacking.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
~ Galileo Galilei
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