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Chapter 4 - part 6

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

Chapter 4 - part 6

Postby Kanakaberaka » 20 Apr 2009, 21:20

Synopsis : Mark finally recieves his first assignment from the N.I.C.E. He and Cosser are to survey the small village of Cure Hardy. The N.I.C.E wants to redirect the River Wynd and Cure Hardy is in it's way. So first Mark writes the report. then the next day he and Cosser go out to take a look at the actual village. Mark has trouble hidding his true feelings about the place. And Cosser proves to be the bore Mark suspected he was. Cosser drops Mark off in Edgestow on the way back so that Mark can rejoin Jane for the evening. Before arriving home he unconsciously alters his opinion about Cure Hardy so as not to hurt Jane's feelings about antiquities

Unlike Mark, Cosser's physical description is given at the opening of this section. Lewis mentions Cosser's freckled face and his " little wisp of black moustache", making his youth and inexperience appear obvious. Cosser is also an obvious toady for the dangerous Steele. To emphasize this, as Cosser explains his position in relation to Steele, Lewis notes that "Cosser paused, picked his nose thoughtfully, and proceeded." This certainly gives the reader a bad impression since no thoughtful person would be caught picking his nose in public. Also of note is the fact that Cosser is a tea totaller. He passes up the chance to have a drink with Mark, citing something called the "Miller Report".

The name of the village they are surveying for elimination is interesting as well. In Malory's Morte d'Arthur There is but one reference to Sir Bohart le Cure Hardy. He was also called Sir Borre and was said to be the son of King Arthur. Other than curing a Hungarian knight, nothing else is said or known about him. Of course there is obvious humor in the fact that Mark and Cosser spend the evening writing their report on Cure Hardy before going there the following day to actually observe the place. Yet ironicly, Mark's preconceptions about the village in the valley are challenged once they arrive there. Some old rentiers are mentioned as a "bad element". The word refers to people who live off income collected from renting out their property or recieve income from their investments. Basicly they are retired types. I suppose that a huge business such as the N.I.C.E. can not tollerate small business people and others not dependant on wages to stand in their way. The agricultural labourers Cosser mentioned would also be somwhat independent of huge corporate entities. The N.I.C.E. will not stand for self sufficiency.

The whole experience of their day trip to Cure Hardy has a paradoxical effect on Mark. It begins with the sound of the rooks crowing, just as the rooks did in for Jane in chapter 3, part 3. Their call to "wake-up, wake-up" is not lost on Mark. Unlike Cosser who is simply annoyed by their noise. And for a while Mark is conscious of the wonderful world around him, even though he denies feeling this wonder to Cosser. People of the village remind Mark of some of his relatives and they all have a sort of charm about them. The sort of quality missing from the "conspirators" at Belbury. And yet, in the end, Mark ends up fooling himself. He leaves the lovely place beliveing that textbook studies and statistics are more important than the real people he has just rubbed shoulders with. Even as he returns home to see Jane that evening, Mark feels the need to edit his experiences at Cure Hardy and at Belbury. He focused his attentions on imagined positive qualites of Belbury and ignored all the natural goodness of the ordinary folk living in Cure Hardy. It's Mark's own self delusion. He is in fact lying to himself.
so it goes...
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Kanakaberaka
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Any relation?

Postby Kanakaberaka » 25 Apr 2009, 05:15

When Mark thought of his old drinking buddies, one of those named was "Denniston". The same one who almost got Mark's Fellowship, mentioned back in part 2 of chapter 1. I wonder if he might be related to Camilla Denniston? Or did Lewis simply like the name? This makes me think that the two Dennistons share the same personal qualities.
See Chapter 5, part 3 for the answer to this question.
so it goes...
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Kanakaberaka
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Posts: 1028
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Location: Just outside of Rego Park, NYC


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