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Chapter 5 - part 3

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

Chapter 5 - part 3

Postby Kanakaberaka » 04 Jan 2010, 16:01

Synopsis : Jane goes into Edgestow to find a replacement for Mrs. Maggs. While there she meets Camilla Denniston and her husband Frank who invite her to have lunch with them. Mr. Denniston insists on some place private, so they drive off to a place in the woods beyond Sandown. In the back of their car Jane is told about who is in charge at St. Annes. "The Head" is a man presently know as Mr. Fisher-King. He has changed his name to that of his late sister who lived in India and left him an inheritance. Mr. Fisher-King has an incurable wound on his heel so he is unable to walk. The Dennistons insist they need Jane to join their group because of her powers as a seer. They explain that if Jane does not join with them, evil forces will make use of Jane's powers. Jane is reluctant to commit herself to anyone. But they finally convince her to inform Fisher-King's company without the need to officialy join them.

What a difference there is between the way Mark has been treated by the N.I.C.E. members at Belbury and the invitation Jane has recieved from Fisher-King's circle of friends. I must admit that Mr. Denniston's suggestion about going out for a picnic on a foggy autumn day sounds odd. But he did insist on privacy, so there was a logical reason to not talk in a public restaurant. I looked up "Sandown" to find that it's the name of a seaside resort town on the Isle of Wight. I wonder if Lewis wanted to give his readers the idea that the location by the wood was a relaxing place to vacation?

When Mr. Denniston explains to Jane that "We like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It's a usefull taste if one lives in England", it reminded me of the old Irish saying, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes". It also reassures me that the Dennistons are sincere about their dealings with Jane. Mr. Denniston goes on to one of the more memorable Lewis quotes :
Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Haven't you ever noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children - and the dogs? They know what's snow's made for.
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Chapter 5 - part 3

Postby Kanakaberaka » 04 Jan 2010, 16:42

The name of The Head of St. Anne's on the Hill is derived from the legend of The Holy Grail. A mysterious character named The Fisher King is the keeper of this Grail, which is said to be the cup which Jesus used at the Last Supper. Just like Mr. Fisher-King, the Fisher King of legend was also cripled by a terrible wound. Although various tales dissagree about where this wound was located. Most say he was pierced through his thigh, while others claim it was the King's foot. In these Grail stories the Fisher King has a group of noble knights to go out on quests for him. This also is reflected in the ecclectic company at St. Anne's who each have their own talents to share.

For some reason the Christian Mystic Mr. Fisher-King's late Aunt befrineded was know as the Sura. In Islam a sura is a chapter from the Koran. I suspect that Lewis chose this foreign term for a Christian character simply because it sounds exotic rather than some sort of Christian/ Muslim eccumenical notion.

One confusing matter is Mr. Denniston's first name. At first Camilla refers to her husband as "Frank". But then, near the end of this chapter comes this passage:
"Arthur", said Camilla, I see a light over there. Do you think it's a bonfire?
So is it "Frank" or "Arthur" Denniston? Is the second name simply an uncorrected typo? Or was Lewis dropping a hint about Denniston's true identity when Camilla blurts out the name "Arthur"?

Also : Why would anyone leave a bonfire unattended in the woods? (Calling Smokie the Bear).
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Re: Chapter 5 - part 3

Postby agingjb » 04 Jan 2010, 18:12

First, it's consistently "Arthur" in my edition of THS (Bodley Head) unless I've missed something.

Secondly, I've always found "loving weather" a bit curious. One wouldn't say that one loved all states of health. Appreciating weather of any kind is, I suppose, intended to be contrasted with the undiscriminating loss of judgement which is imposed by the Objective Room (it comes later).
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Re: Chapter 5 - part 3

Postby jo » 04 Jan 2010, 20:30

Heh I LOVED the idea of a picnic in a car, on a foggy Autumn day :) It's the sort of thing I would totally enjoy. I keep meaning to host a New Year's BBQ party if I could a) buy a BBQ at this time of year and b) persuade anyone to drag themselves away from their fireplaces to come. I think that Lewis and I were on the same page on this one :)
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Frankness about the Weather

Postby Kanakaberaka » 04 Jan 2010, 21:27

agingjb wrote:First, it's consistently "Arthur" in my edition of THS (Bodley Head) unless I've missed something.


I will have to ask Sven about this. But in my edition (Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster 1997) "Frank" is used the first time in part 3 of chapter 5, and "Arthur" is used twice. First when Camilla mentions a seer, and next in the passage I quoted.


Secondly, I've always found "loving weather" a bit curious. One wouldn't say that one loved all states of health. ...


At first I thought that the Dennistons used their "love of Weather" as a ruse to get Jane to go along with them out of earshot of the N.I.C.E. But apparently Arthur really meant what he said, judging by what he said about how children and dogs love the snow. I really feel it is all about our attitude towards things we have no control over. As Mark Twain said - "People keep talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it".
Last edited by Kanakaberaka on 05 Jan 2010, 15:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Extreme Picnicking

Postby Kanakaberaka » 04 Jan 2010, 21:30

jo wrote: I keep meaning to host a New Year's BBQ party if I could a) buy a BBQ at this time of year and b) persuade anyone to drag themselves away from their fireplaces to come. I think that Lewis and I were on the same page on this one :)


I can imagine an outdoor winter picnic around a sort of open hearth bar-be-que at some sort of ski resort. Excelcior! :idea:
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Stretching the elastic

Postby Kanakaberaka » 08 Jan 2010, 11:55

The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines "elasticity" as :
1 : the quality or state of being elastic: as a : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation : springiness b : resilience 2 c : the quality of being adaptable


So how are the sub-chapters of Chapter 5 related to elasticity?

In part 1 Mark struggles against the officials of the N.I.C.E. to get a straight answer.

By part 2, after trying to adapt himself to the ways of the N.I.C.E. Mark finds that he is unable to return to his former self. That is his old job at the college.

Finally in part 3 we see how Jane is adapting to the folks from St. Anne's. The Denniston's do not attempt to force Jane into accepting their offer to join them. They merely reason with her. In the end it is they who adapt to Jane's wishes by suggesting she remain outside their company if only she will inform them about her dream visions.
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Re: Chapter 5 - part 3

Postby agingjb » 12 Jan 2010, 09:16

I would distinguish between liking some particular examples of weather, and liking "weather". And I would have supposed that CSL would make this (overfine?) distinction between the general and particular; but perhaps not.
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