Free "Till We Have Faces" Character Analysis Essay Sample

In her essay on Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, Sally assumes that C.S. Lewis has imposed his religious beliefs in the text to try and explain the human behavior and; therefore, the text has a religious bias since she feels that he is trying to fulfill his religious obligations. One implication of sally’s interpretation of C.S. Lewis’ inference is that it may shun those who are not inclined to reason in terms of religion or those that believe there is a greater being and he, or she controls that which happens in the universe.

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However, I do not necessarily agree with her assumption that he is imposing his religious beliefs in his deductions of the myth. This is because, despite the fact that some people will always claim not to believe in a greater being, at one point or the other they will always call unto a “god”; therefore, I believe that he is just correct in incorporating the two concepts of human behavior and the issue of religion.

By focusing on the validity of the recommendations by C.S. Lewis in his book, which she believes, can only work in that context but not in the world today where these recommendations may simply sum up to no development. She overlooks the whole principle behind his recommendations, which can and are truly much applicable on the present day and are even recommended by psychiatrists who have no religious inclination. Taking the example of the principle behind realizing one’s self and not working on actualizing of what others want you to be and hence you come to the realization that the answer lies with you. However, I agree with her that the book has perfectly acute in his perception of the human nature.

 “Then, just before he sent us away, he said “especially the elder, see if you can make her wise; it’s about all she will ever be good for.” I didn’t understand that, but I knew it was like the things I had heard people say to me ever since I could remember”

From this portion of the story where Orual gives an account of her father’s words, it gives two reasons for her mannerism.  Orual was rejected by the father, and; therefore, she always lived to be what the father thought of her and not what she was.

 “then I hardly knew myself again, till I found I was astride of Redival, she on the ground with her face a lather of blood and my hands about her throat.”

Since their child hood, Orual had been forced to compete with Redival because of her beauty; however, due to her living the life of an ideal her, which had been instilled by others, in this case, her father who thought she was ugly, she becomes a jealous person, and she gets the opportunity to revenge on Redival when she conflicts with Psyche. Therefore, Orual’s character was based on what people think about her and she blamed the gods and not herself though she was the actual problem.

Orual's intricate character development extends beyond her father's rejection and societal expectations. Her relationship with Psyche, her younger sister, introduces another layer of complexity. The rivalry with Redival is compounded by Orual's protective instincts towards Psyche, resulting in a tumultuous dynamic shaped by jealousy, love, and conflicting emotions.

Psyche's beauty becomes a focal point, intensifying Orual's internal struggles. As she grapples with her own perceived ugliness, the stark contrast with Psyche's radiance fuels Orual's inner turmoil. This rivalry becomes a manifestation of Orual's deep-seated insecurities, further emphasizing the psychological depth woven into Lewis' narrative.

The motif of jealousy and competition threads through the fabric of Orual's relationships, illustrating the profound impact of external judgments on her psyche. Her actions, including the vengeful encounter with Redival and the conflict with Psyche, are driven by a desperate need to assert herself in the face of societal standards that deem her unworthy.

Lewis, through Orual's journey, explores the timeless theme of self-discovery amid societal expectations. The narrative encourages readers to reflect on their own struggles with identity and the external pressures that shape their sense of self. This introspective dimension goes beyond religious considerations, making "Till We Have Faces" a universal exploration of the human condition.

Moreover, Orual's narrative underscores the transformative power of self-awareness. Her eventual realization that blaming the gods is a way of evading personal responsibility marks a crucial turning point. This realization transcends religious confines and becomes a poignant commentary on the human tendency to externalize accountability for one's actions.

In essence, while Sally's focus on religious bias provides a valid perspective, it's essential to recognize the multi-faceted nature of Lewis' exploration. The interplay of sibling dynamics, the complexities of beauty and ugliness, and the journey towards self-awareness contribute to a narrative rich in psychological depth and relevance that extends beyond religious interpretations.


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