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Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 18 May 2010, 23:16
by Nerd42
In my own latter day saint tradition we have the statement that hell is "a perfect remembrance of their own wickedness" and "Wickedness never was happiness." So yeah, basically you create your own hell.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 19 May 2010, 13:31
by nomad
I also saw the "cheated lady" as someone who thinks you can buy anything with money. I assumed that she, like the narrator, is a new arrival. Her reaction would seem to indicate that she didn't yet know that money was worthless. And many people don't understand that money's value is linked to the work or product it represents; they think it has intrinsic value in itself. So even if she knew that you can just think it up, it doesn't necessarily follow that she would understand it had no value. She would just think, "Sweet! I'm rich!"

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 19 May 2010, 16:38
by Nerd42
nomad wrote:I also saw the "cheated lady" as someone who thinks you can buy anything with money. I assumed that she, like the narrator, is a new arrival. Her reaction would seem to indicate that she didn't yet know that money was worthless. And many people don't understand that money's value is linked to the work or product it represents; they think it has intrinsic value in itself. So even if she knew that you can just think it up, it doesn't necessarily follow that she would understand it had no value. She would just think, "Sweet! I'm rich!"
You guys could be right.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 19 May 2010, 19:02
by nomad
Well, I'm still out of town and I don't have the book with me. Hopefully will be home next week and then I'll start reading with this discussion.

I think it's constantly raining in hell because Lewis lived in England and he's hoping heaven will give him a reprieve from the rain.

Interesting point too about how everyone complains about the bus and driver. In this world it's amazing how much people can complain and about what. I had a job once where we were put up in a five-star hotel on the beach, and at least one person still found something to complain about. Turns out we have the capacity to make a heavenly setting a little more hellish for ourselves and others too.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 20 May 2010, 16:10
by Nerd42
nomad wrote:I think it's constantly raining in hell because Lewis lived in England and he's hoping heaven will give him a reprieve from the rain.
That probably also had something to do with it. Though his version of "heaven" seems to be a place where it would have to rain quite often, to keep all those plants watered.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 21 May 2010, 20:16
by nomad
Oh, Nerd, you're getting ahead of us. Rain in heaven is in a later chapter! :lipssealed: :wink:

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 23 May 2010, 18:31
by Matthew Whaley
Not to get too far ahead in the story, just something to think about; who is the bus driver and if he is a heavenly resident, how can he fit into Hell?

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 23 May 2010, 18:31
by Matthew Whaley
It's really interesting that they complain about the bus driver being "pleased with himself." This is their only objection of him. It seems even in Hell or especially in Hell; misery loves company. Inhabitants of the Grey Town cannot let go of the pleasure they get from causing misery in another, even if it is disguised as self pity in some. This is one reason why they are there. The bus driver is immune to their desease and they know it. He cannot hate them no matter what they say or do: They have no power over him.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 24 May 2010, 14:40
by paminala
I don't have may book with me but I can't remember the bus driver actually speaking to the passengers (am I wrong?) Is it possible that he is just part of the bus? There must be a mechanism of transport from A to B and the resisdents expect a bus so they get one; a bus has a driver so it has one. Because of its origin it is clean and new which they see as excessive because they expect the least possible from anything that is being provided for them (i e rickety and barely functioning with a snarky driver) since that is all they would provide if the situation were reversed.
That they can't accept the bus is the first foreshadowing that they will not be able to accept Heaven. The sorrow is in the fact that they board the bus at all because by doing so they demonstrate that they want what they will never be able to have even though the barriers are all within themselves.
Does anyone here think anyone ever takes the bus trip more than once? (In theory, outside the narrative of the story I mean.) Or is this a sink or swim sort of experience? If they will certainly not stay in Heaven, are they better or worse off when they get back? I imagine the residents there treat them differently, perhaps not in a good way.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 25 May 2010, 17:01
by Nerd42
paminala wrote:Does anyone here think anyone ever takes the bus trip more than once? (In theory, outside the narrative of the story I mean.) Or is this a sink or swim sort of experience? If they will certainly not stay in Heaven, are they better or worse off when they get back? I imagine the residents there treat them differently, perhaps not in a good way.
I wouldn't be surprised.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 25 May 2010, 17:32
by maralewisfan
Just a quick thought on the idea of the Grey Town. Could the color itself be representative of the fact that the inhabitants could not or would not admit to an Absolute; either good or bad, black or white? In other words they never admitted that in their lives on earth they had a choice to make accept the grace that God so freely offers all and realize that there is an ultimate Good!

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 25 May 2010, 21:58
by Matthew Whaley
maralewisfan wrote:Just a quick thought on the idea of the Grey Town. Could the color itself be representative of the fact that the inhabitants could not or would not admit to an Absolute; either good or bad, black or white? In other words they never admitted that in their lives on earth they had a choice to make accept the grace that God so freely offers all and realize that there is an ultimate Good!


Too risky. They would first have to admit they were wrong or in need and would have had to give up their pride; and in their whole concept of individual worth.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 26 May 2010, 15:43
by Nerd42
maralewisfan wrote:Just a quick thought on the idea of the Grey Town. Could the color itself be representative of the fact that the inhabitants could not or would not admit to an Absolute; either good or bad, black or white? In other words they never admitted that in their lives on earth they had a choice to make accept the grace that God so freely offers all and realize that there is an ultimate Good!
I think that is very probably right.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 27 May 2010, 22:47
by paminala
I've always associated color with joy so for me the fact that the town is colorless goes hand in hand with the fact that it is also joyless.
What they have is less like life than the memory of life and memories become faded and colorless rather like old photographs. That would also speak to the way they continually repeat the same patterns of behavior. You may get to keep what you bring, but that is probably all you get and that has got to get very tattered and shopworn after a while.

Re: Chapter 1 - The Grey Town

PostPosted: 29 May 2010, 00:59
by Matthew Whaley
It is definitely without joy as it is without color; but neither has it deep sorrow, extreme agony, or unrelenting despair; indicated also by colorlessness. No blackest night. Not yet. But life in Grey Town seems very monotonous; and the sing-song quality of the melody in the music by Phil Woodward compliments the atmosphere of aimlessness and futility.