Classics Without All the Class discussion

May 2015- Till We Have Faces > Book 1, Chapters 8-12

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) May 2015 book discussion --> Till We Have Faces

It's time to pick up the pace a little in this discussion. We've set the stage for the religious situation in Glome, the differing views of the Stoic Fox and Orual in regard to belief in god, and we can see the selfish love that Orual has for Psyche.

Chapter 8 -- After Psyche's sacrifice, Glome's condition improves in every respect. Orual asks the Fox whether this does not show that Ungit is real. Not surprisingly, the Fox's philosophy leads him to claim that the timing was the mere chance of Nature.

Also, mention is made of the nearby kingdom of Phars, where the king's son, named Trunia, has risen in rebellion. The news that Phars would be busy with its civil war for at least a year is good news because Glome will not be threatened by Phars.

Orual resolves to go up to the Tree on the Mountain to recover Psyche's remains.

Chapter 9 -- Bardia agrees to go with Orual up the mountain. Did anybody besides me wonder why nobody else in the kingdom had gone to investigate before now? It seems like quite a bit of time has passed since the sacrifice. And, the journey didn't seem too difficult.

They reached the Tree to which Psyche had been bound but found no trace at all. After searching they found a secret valley, and there was Psyche.

Chapter 10 -- Conversation between Orual and Psyche, who is well and quite happy. She recounts in detail the events on the day of the sacrifice. She was rescued by the god of the west-wind in human shape, "but you couldn't mistake him for a man."

During the conversation Psyche says, "Don't you think the things people are most ashamed of are the things they can't help?" What do you make of this comment?

Chapter 11 -- Dispute between Orual and Psyche as to the existence of Psyche's palace. Speaking of her lover, Psyche says, "He comes to me only in the holy darkness." "I'm forbidden to bring any light into our chamber."

At one point in that conversation Orual remarks to herself, "I learned then how one can hate those one loves." What does this mean?

Chapter 12 -- Orual camps with Bardia on the ridge over the hidden valley. During the night, in the storm and fog, she catches one fleeting glimpse of the huge marble palace that the god prepared for Psyche. Orual thinks Psyche may be the bride of a monster and resolves to kill her, if necessary, to save her from such desecration. This in spite of Psyche's obvious happiness.

Bardia and Orual return to the palace.

What are your thoughts, ideas, or favorite quotes from these chapters?

message 2: by Dawnstream (last edited May 06, 2015 02:49PM) (new)

Dawnstream The thought that everyone is only doing what they think is right has always bothered me. We can't see from the perspective of another, even when we sympathize with them, we can't actually know the world from their perspective. Orual and Psyche speak, but don't communicate. Neither can experience the world as the other does, though they love each other to the best of their abilities, and those different perception result in them essentially living in two separate worlds. If you have read Metamorphoses/The Golden Ass, you know how badly this will turn.

Edit: Sorry, I linked the wrong book before. There is a Metamorphoses of Apuleius (The Golden Ass) and a Metamorphoses of Ovid (what most people call Metamorphoses). I've read them both, and I mixed them up.

message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) Excellent observation. Those two have such different perspectives that no matter how much they argue, neither will convince the other. A favorite expression of mine is "agree to disagree." That's the only way a friendship or love relationship can survive under those circumstances. No, I haven't read Metamorphoses yet but maybe I should.

message 4: by Candace (new)

Candace Jim wrote: "May 2015 book discussion --> Till We Have Faces

It's time to pick up the pace a little in this discussion. We've set the stage for the religious situation in Glome, the differing views of the Sto..."

There is a famous cliche/quote that states that there is a fine line between love and hate. Orual seems to reach this conclusion when she is visiting Psyche at her palace. Psyche has now grown into herself as a woman, and no longer lives by Orual's rules, which Orual finds maddening. She had never been questioned or disobeyed so much since Psyche had been born, so she seems to really be discovering that frustration when a child (or younger sister you have taken care of throughout life) questions authority.

I really enjoyed the comparison that Lewis makes between the two sisters fighting and two fighters about to strike out at each other.

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jborland) Fine line between love and hate. Isn't that fascinating! It makes no sense rationally (The Fox), but we can sure see that it is true. What a contrast between these two sisters.

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