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Chapter 8 - part 2

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

Chapter 8 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 31 May 2010, 05:43

Synopsis : Jane awakes so refreshed from her ordeal the previous night, she recites a poem to celebrate. After Ivy Maggs arrives with her breakfast, Jane is given a few books from the library. But she falls asleep untill the late afternoon. When she goes to use the bathroom she is surprised to find it being occupied by a domesticated bear named Mr. Bultitude. She then goes downstairs to the kitchen where all the other women of the manor are preparing dinner. Jane meets Mr. MacPhee, the company's skeptic, for the first time. The mood is interrupted as Arthur Denniston enters to kitchen to bring MacPhee up to the blue room to meet with the Director.

I find it interesting that the first thing Jane does upon awakening in the safety of St. Anne's is recite a poem about being thankful for sleep. It sounds to me like a prayer even though Jane is not religious. Could it be that she is trying to give thanks to God, in spite of her disbelief?

Back during the Perelandra study on Chapter 5 - pt. 1, a_hnau noted this very poem saying :
when Ransom wakes, feeling 'such a premonition of good adventure', I am immediately reminded of Jane's first waking at St Anne's, 'there came into Jane's sleeping mind a sensation which ... would have sung "Be glad thou sleeper and thy sorrow offcast, I am the gate to all good adventure"'. I'm not sure if even Lewis would have realised he made what appears to be the same allusion in both places.
so it goes...
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Chapter 8 - part 2

Postby Kanakaberaka » 31 May 2010, 06:28

Jane remembers Mr. Fisher-King's suggestion when she asks for the "Curdie books" from the manor's library. They include The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald, an author who had a profound influence on Lewis. Phantastes was the first book by MacDonald which Lewis had read. Jane also asks for Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I think it may be safe to assume that Jane has already read Austen's Pride and Prejudice and wanted to read more by the same author. I can only guess why Jane also wanted a book on Shakespeare's Sonnets. Maybe she desired some sort of love poems as she thought of Mark.

Mr. Bultitude's name appears to be of pre 10th Century French origins. The word "boulter" refers to a chef who cooks meats. Maybe Lewis simply wanted to give this tame bear an interesting name. It seems to remind me of the Christian "Beatitudes" because of it's sound. But I doubt that Lewis intended them as a reference.

As Jane goes downstairs to the kitchen she notices a "stuffed pike in a glass case". To me the carnivorous fish known as the pike resembles the hnakra encountered by Ransom in Out of the Silent Planet. I think this could be in inside joke for readers of the previous two novels in this trilogy.
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 8 - part 2

Postby Matthew Whaley » 31 May 2010, 22:22

St Anne's-on-the-Hill to me is like an outpost of Heaven on earth where The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together...They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. ( Isaiah 11:7-9) It is easy to see why Jane was reluctant to leave at first and now that she is back hopes that she isn't sent away again. The residents of St Anne's are I think not so much under the spell of the Director as they are under the influence of eldils who meet with him. That Jane awakens from sleep refreshed and with that bit of poetry on her mind would indicate that the eldils are not restricted to just one room in the house. But even if they are, their presence still affects everyone on the property.
Last edited by Matthew Whaley on 02 Jun 2010, 02:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Angelic influence

Postby Kanakaberaka » 01 Jun 2010, 02:01

Matthew Whaley wrote:The residents of St Anne's are I think not so much under the spell of the Director as they are under the influence of Eldils who meet with him. That Jane awakens from sleep refreshed and with that bit of poetry on her mind would indicate that the Eldils are not restricted to just one room in the house.


You have a good point there about the influence of the eldils over the residents of St. Anne's. But we should remember that the Glory seen in the Director and the eldils has it's origin in God. Mr. Fisher-King and his celestial visitors merely transmit the will of Maleldil to everyone else.
so it goes...
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Meet Mr. MacPhee

Postby Kanakaberaka » 01 Jun 2010, 11:49

Mr. Bultitude is not the only resident of St. Anne's Jane meets for the first time in this chapter. The company's resident skeptic, Mr. MacPhee makes his grand entrance into to kitchen. He's an Ulsterman who insists on qualifying every statement he makes rather that making concise statements. C.S. Lewis was an Ulsterman himself, born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. So naturally I wonder if maybe MacPhee represents Lewis on some level. Could he be the sort of man Lewis would have grown to be had Lewis not rediscovered the joy of Christianity?

I like the amicable "arguement" MacPhee has with Mother Dimble over his opinion or rather his insistance on not having an opinion. In spite of their differences, the folks in St. Anne's can have an honest dissagreement without tearing each other down. Compare this to Belbury where everyone has an axe to grind against everyone else. None of them dare to express their disagreements in the open. MacPhee illustrates that there is a full range of thinking welcomed at St. Anne's.
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Re: Meet Mr. MacPhee

Postby Theophilus » 02 Jun 2010, 16:01

Kanakaberaka wrote:So naturally I wonder if maybe MacPhee represents Lewis on some level.
I have heard that MacPhee was based on William Kirkpatrick, who was once a tutor of Lewis. Surprised by Joy tells of Lewis' experiences with him and he seems to me to be very much like MacPhee.
I can only guess why Jane also wanted a book on Shakespeare's Sonnets. Maybe she desired some sort of love poems as she thought of Mark.
In the previous chapter, while she was on her way home, she planned what she would do when she got there, and one of the things she intended to do was read some of Shakespeare's Sonnets.
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Re: Meet Mr. MacPhee

Postby Matthew Whaley » 05 Jun 2010, 02:56

Kanakaberaka wrote: MacPhee illustrates that there is a full range of thinking welcomed at St. Anne's.


I agree, at Belbury those that think independently are quickly brought to heel, excluded, or worse end up like Hingest. Mark is constantly worried about his status and his place in the pecking order, but Jane at St Annes finds that everyone is treated with the same level of dignity and kindness regardless of class, age , sex or zoological affiliation.
"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
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One big happy family

Postby Kanakaberaka » 20 Jun 2010, 02:18

One important theme which runs through the second part of this chapter is the casual equality among the company at St. Anne's. In fact Jane, who was at first put off by the idea of obedience, is somewhat shocked at Ivy Maggs familiarity around her. This continues with Mrs. Dimble's insistence on being addressed as "Mother Dimble". Jane feels uncomfortable getting used to this impromptu family. Even the bear, Mr. Bultutude is treated more as a family member than an oversized pet.

What equalizes the Director's "family" is the fact that there are no servants. Everyone must take his or her turn doing the chores around the manor. They all serve each other. Jane comments to Mother Dimble -
"Mrs. Maggs certainly makes herself at home here."
"My dear, she is at home here"
"As a maid, you mean?"
"Well, no more than anyone else..."

In spite of her progressivism, Jane has trouble shaking the English class system. She is reluctant to accept Mrs. Maggs as an equal in her new circle. When Jane goes on to ask if the Director knows that Mrs. Maggs talks to everyone else with such familiarity, Mother Dimble reminds Jane -
- and you were never goose enough to think yourself spiritually superior to Ivy -
so it goes...
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Re: Chapter 8 - part 2

Postby Matthew Whaley » 20 Jun 2010, 03:37

I agree. Jane has to completely rethink who she really is at St Annes, because the definitions that mattered to her up to this point, what gives her life meaning were; social class, marital status, education, and occupation. She lives her life in constant awareness that these things define a person's worth in the world in the eyes of her friends, family and society. To God, the ways we define ourselves can get in the way of beginning a relationship with Him and must be set aside. They surely can hinder and limit our relationships with others.
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