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The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon Screwtape to his nephew a junior tempter named Wormwood so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man known only as the PatientScrewtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy Lowerarchy of Hell and acts as a mentor to Wormwood the inexperienced tempter In the body of the thirty one letters which make up the book Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin in the Patient interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it


10 thoughts on “The Screwtape Letters

  1. says:

    It's great to read fiction that gives you a punch in a gut It's not often a book will hold up a mirror to you and show you some things you'd rather not see The Screwtape Letters was that book for meEvery Christian needs to get a hold of this book and read it through It's helped me gain a deep understanding of how the forces of darkness try to undermine joy and truth I'd especially recommend it to readers new to CS Lewis as this is a good sample of his writing and a good place to start from when reading his workOne of the great things about CS Lewis is that having not been born into the church he comes with a gritty logical look into Christianity and how the world operates having been deeply entrenched in it himself He understands where people are coming from and brings to light a lot of the contradictions people tend to say about the church and intellectuals for that matter Personally I took away a number of lessons from the book including some understanding about what it means to be charitable and caring towards my family and friends instead of doing things purely out of some spiritual pride aka holier than thou philosophy what an eye opener In a good way though One of the best points he makes is that the Father Below's main goal is to keep your from thinking for yourself to go along with the crowd and to do what the smart the pretty the bold and the powerful say you should do instead of being an individual What a powerful and relevant statement for today's culture


  2. says:

    I love this book it really makes you think For those who have not read it the book is written as a compilation of letters from a tempter Screwtape to his nephew a junior tempter named Wormwoood In the letters Screwtape gives Wormwood adivce and counsel on how to best tempt his subject a young man who converts to Christianity and then falls in love with a Christian woman Through the letters you are constantly reminded and made to think about how the adversary tempts us What is truly excellent about the book though is that the cunning plans are not centered around obvious sins that so often are what we think about when we think about temptation and sin Instead the tempters focus on much subtle forms of sins vanity pride distraction insincerity forgetting God and how these can achieve the same effect as obvious sins to lead us away from God Ultimately the tempters in this story do not care what sins are committed by their subjects so long as they accomplish their goal of separating people from God and leading them to the adversary In fact they seem to prefer the subtle means of leading people astray as they sense that this is a hidden and thus secure way to accomplish their ultimate designYou cannot read this book and not think of how extremely pertinent it is to your life C S Lewis has thought deeply about the things we do each that lead us away from God and he articulates them very well As you read the book you are in a constant introspection of your own life and the things that are put before you daily that lead you away from what we all desire a close personal consistent and deep relationship with God that leads to happiness now and the hereafter I love this book


  3. says:

    If not for the fact that this is a satire in earnest it would serve as a powerful absurdist invective against humanity itself If this book improved my view of Christians it was only because it points out that all the faults conspicuous in the rabidly faithful are eually well represented in the uninformed agnostic if less readily apparent Lewis does his best to drag everyone down to a common levelThe sharp weapon of Lewis's rhetoric tears down humanity through all its self righteous hubris denial misdirected hopes and easy mistakes However one begins to develop the impression slowly at first that Lewis has nothing to offer in return There are scarcely words of alternatives let alone improvementsLewis does give us a house which disgusts the devils and redeems the sinful but this perfect representation of Christian values is just a lack of badness not a profusion of goodness It is 'suffused' by some sort of magical glow which infects the cat but magical glows do not a life philosophy make I got the impression that Lewis hoped to fill in with the good parts later but couldn't think of anyHuman beings have a cognitive bias for avoiding punishment even to the point where we will avoid a small punishment rather than seek a great reward Perhaps this fear consumed Lewis as it does so many people That would explain why his books seem concerned with avoiding small errors instead of seeking out grand achievementsBut then Lewis has a similar failing with grand villainy Sure he's able to point out all the little foolish errors we make but he seems to have no ability to understand actual malice or hatred His demons like all his villains just do bad things because it's reuired of them Lewis is unable to develop any motivation for them to do evil which means that in the end his vision of evil is silly petty and dismissive He cannot give us a vision of a truly dangerous devil like Milton's or Hogg's just an arbitrary and easily blamed antagonistLewis said writing these letters was unpleasant than any of his other books and that he could not bring himself to write a seuel I find little surprise in this because one can see how as the book goes on Lewis and recognizes the failures of mankind but when he tries to express what makes him or his faith any different cannot find anything to sayThe 'suffusing glow' becomes a metaphor for Lewis's own righteousness but whenever Lewis isn't basking in his own self righteousness he is ridiculing someone else's Lewis' rhetoric is most deficient when he scorns one of man's many faults then calls it a virtue in the next chapterFor example the book begins with the demon advising that humans should be encouraged to think of things as being 'real' without ever uestioning what that means The term 'real life' is meant to act as a self justification for assumptions not as an introspective view This is 'bad' because 'real' has no meaning beyond the opinion of the user and hence it can be used to justify anythingThen Lewis begins to talk about how the Christians should make sure to follow what is 'natural' but fails to define what 'natural' is supposed to mean Like 'real' 'natural' can be used to justify any idea or position but Lewis does not turn a skeptical eye on himselfThis can hardly surprise as Lewis maintains a philosophy of Duality Dualism presents the 'with usagainst us' ideal by which any two groups may grow to hate one another despite the fact that they have relatively few differences As long as one defines the other as bad there is no need to define the self as good as in the Dualistic system there is only good and evil and you are either one or the otherLewis often falls back on this defense showing how some men are bad how he is different from them and then assuming 'different' euals 'better' He uses rational skeptical argument to show how flawed his opponent is but tearing down others is not the same as raising yourself upThat being said it would still be refreshing to meet a believer who had put as much thought and work into attempting to understand and explain themselves It is rare to find thoughtfulness and skepticism believer or no Atheists and scientists can be just as troubled flawed and deluded as anyone else The lesson I will pull from this is that it is important for me to concentrate on myself and my own growth because worrying about everyone else didn't help Lewis and it isn't going to help me either I must not simply tear down those who are different from me since this doesn't prove that I am right any than a bully proves his superiority by his insults and threats


  4. says:

    It's always the books that I randomly come across or the spur of the moment reads that almost always end up pleasantly surprising meThis book was so out of my range and certainly not the kind I usually pick up but I wanted something different and wow was it that It was thought provoking and very unnerving at times with an interesting premise that had me uestioning a lot of the things that we do without even realising and the effects of these actionsYou know there are many reasons why I love Fantasy books one of which is that it's a form of escapism However dark andor bleak enter said world is it draws me in and gets me focusing on problems far different from anything to do with my world Well this certainly was not that kind of a read The Screwtape Letters is a purported collection of 31 letters written by a senior demon Screwtape to his nephew and protégé a younger demon named Wormwood These letters were written for the express purpose of instructing the young demon on the finer points of how to corrupt the human soul whose name is simply referred to as the patient and remains unnamed throughout the storyOne of the fundamental insights of this story is that this Infernal Bureaucracy is founded on the principle of consume or be consumed and it gives us a look into the battle for souls from the other side of the trenches Various letters explore the use of subtle distractions Screwtape heavily emphasizes that the best most efficient way to fully corrupt the human soul is to do this as subtly as possible rather than frontal attacks and that Wormwood’s goal is to make the patient believe in the doctrine of Materialism These letters are short and concise written in a way that any reader will be able to relate to many of the temptations that these devils throw at the patient Lewis masterfully uses a uniue and amusing style of writing to present many of mankind’s greatest weaknesses that we often fall prey toThis is one of the few books that I’d automatically recommend to everyone


  5. says:

    Young Wormwood is on his very first demonic mission and is at a bit of a loss as to how to do this There's so many ways to corrupt but which is the right way to do evil? Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one the gentle slope soft underfoot without sudden turnings without milestones without signpostsYour affectionate uncle Screwtape Luckily he has his Uncle Screwtape to consult Under Screwtape's gentle guidance Wormwood hopes to bring another soul to their Dark Father It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds in reality our best work is done by keeping things out While I do not fully agree with everything said in this book I do think that this was an absolutely fascinating look into the small ways that corruption reaches out to us in everyday life Those little things build up and if they are allowed to fester will certainly turn into something The often he feels without acting the less he will be able ever to act and in the long run the less he will be able to feel There was just so much religion and philosophy packed into such a neat little package I'd highly recommend reading it just once Even if you are not particularly religious the wisdom that C S Lewis imparts is applicable to all areas of our lives and this is certainly one of his better novels When they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours The 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge A book with an ugly coverYouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat mirandareads Happy Reading


  6. says:

    ToMR SOURPUSSMost Revered Lower SecretaryMinistry of TemptationDear SirAt the outset let me express my deep regret at a set of my letters to my wayward nephew Wormwood having fallen into the hands of a loyal servant of the Enemy and getting published I will take the liberty of saying most emphatically that this is not due to any lack of foresight from my part Your August Person used to know Wormwood and what a nincompoop he was I must state with no little pleasure that our current set of tempters are built of much tougher material and conseuently we have been on the winning side in our struggle with the Enemy for the past few decades One only has to cast one's eye over the world onceHowever the affair of The Screwtape Letters as they have come to be known are a matter of no little anguish to my own person and I make no hesitation in stating that I am willing to accept whatever punishment Our Father may seem fit to disburse But it is gratifying to note that the human race in its infinite stupidity have not taken them seriously indeed it is described as a humorous novella One just has to visit the Goodreads website where even people committed to the Enemy are heaping wholesome praise on it So in my humble opinion we need not worry our heads on that accountOne thing Let me take this occasion to congratulate Your August Person and similar dignitaries of the Lowerarchy on the new method of subversion which is working so brilliantly on humanity that of subverting the love of the Enemy into hatred of all others who did not subscribe to that particular version of the Enemy Humanity is indeed too dumb to understand that Love is the Enemy even though they display posters to that effect all over as a platitude and that Hatred is Our Father Why the Enemy loves these idiots and wants them to attain everlasting happiness one can only wonderYour Obedient ServantSCREWTAPE


  7. says:

    Let me preface by saying I do not follow any one religious path I'm a searcher and I'm not sure if I'll ever settle on one faith That said The Screwtape Letters an intense rumination on good and evil as told through the letters of one demon to another is a work I feel everyone should read if to do nothing but understand the true nature of evil I'll admit I picked up the book because I thought a tale told by a demon would be kind of cool sexy in a dark fun kind of way The experience of reading it was anything but that It was fully engrossing far better than mere fun It did what the best books always do; it expanded my understanding of the world around me It gave me something I've kept with me since A valued and somewhat terrible knowledge My copy included a forward that explained that CS Lewis had to recover from writing it After reading and processing his work I know why


  8. says:

    This is my first book of CS Lewis outside the Chronicles of Narnia Series I want to balance my reading list with good wholesome and inspiring Christian books so I decided to try the works of Lewis and look for an e book Fortunately I was able to find one online so I started with Screwtape LettersThe Screwtape Letters is a series of letters written by Screwtape a senior demon to his nephew and a neophyte tempter Wormood about the different ways to tempt a newly converted Christian they referred to as Patient Their objective is to secure the Patient's eternal damnation in hell In this book CS Lewis tried to describe the spiritual battles between Christians and the forces of evil in a different point of viewAt first I felt uncomfortable reading the parts where Lewis referred God as the Enemy and Satan as the Father because being a child of God I know it's the other way around But looking at it as a literary piece this is actually the spice of the story and this what makes the book special to me that I really can't help but admire Lewis for his wisdom and creativityAfter reading the book I was really enlightened and reminded of the truths that we humans should believe about God1 God loves us and He does not want anyone of us to perish but He wants us to have eternal life with Him and so He his Son to die for us and pay for our sins John 316 In order to have eternal life we have to accept Jesus in our life and believe that He is our Lord and Savior By dying on on the cross he redeemed us and provided the forgiveness of our sins past present and future2 God promised that for us who receive Jesus He gave the right to be called His ChildrenNo one can separate us from His love thus our salvation through Jesus is assured and no one can take it away from us not even Satan3 What Satan only wants from every human is to steal kill and destroy He is like a lion who is always looking around for prey ready to devour anytime thus we should always be on guard He will try all possible means for us to turn away from God4 God promised us victory What Jesus did on the cross is already complete Because of that we are victorious in Christ so we have the power to win any battle including spiritual battle with the real Enemy Therefore we must not lose hope and stand firm on our faith that God has already given us the holy life through Jesus and all we have to do is to live it and stop doing the things that are not pleasing to Him This book provided some examples of the unpleasant things that may seem insignificant but can eventually lead to our own destruction because the devil knows how to manipulate our thoughts so we really need to be careful5 Of course the best way to defeat the Enemy is to lay down all our battles to God by praying and petition The Bible said Finally be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms Therefore put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything to stand Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace In addition to all this take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and reuests With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people Ephesians 610 18 This is actually the passage that keeps on popping out of my mind the entire time I was reading the bookThis book only wants to point out that we need to recognize that just like Heaven Hell is also real and Satan also exists He is continuously looking for possible recruits and deceiving people by suggesting different lies in our minds to keep us from turning to God But God is loving and gracious He will never let His children fall if we will only remain in Him God wants all His children to be reunited with Him in eternity but sadly not everyone can go to heaven because not everyone has accepted the Truth He gave us free will to choose how are we going to live our life here on earth So in every moment and every action of our lives we are given two different options to do His will or to follow our own will? And we need to choose well because one may be the highway to hellIf you are looking for a book about living a Christian life then I highly recommend this one but of course living a holy life according to God's standard can only be achieved if we continuously seek to know our Creator an Savior through reading his written Word


  9. says:

    Where do I begin unloading this colossal bag of thoughts that are raging in my mind since yesterday? Well my friend you seem to be the victim today So be it Don’t term me evil; it is just the scent of one I lived with for the last five daysActually this work is hardly anything except for a bunch of letters from a senior to a junior; it is nothing than a series of succinct correspondence gathered cannily and disbursed even astutely to the promising newbies Now have we all not rubbed shoulders with atleast once such genial senior in our lives? Incidentally this exchange happens to be between Uncle Screwtape and Wormwood who well under a generous dignity granted by Lewis call themselves “Tempters”; I refer to them as Devil Spirit And they are up against “Him”; the one who lives in the churches and to whom the world attributes its goodness and lifeEssentially this work chalks out some theories on how the Devil should lure the “patient” or the human away from his allegiance towards Him and secure him firm and consistent with himselfThis very concept takes my bow for it takes a lot to stand on both sides and view a situation without apathy or bias In this deliciously curated work the satire the cynic the comic and the subtle; all find place and rightfully so As for Screwtape the breaking fragments of the world and the striking resemblance it holds to a colored hoax is the doing of “Him” and so he takes the fundamental ingredients of daily life like belief love marriage gluttony cowardice fidelity freedom unselfishness and ownership and holds them not aloft instead face down Screwtape draws sinister pleasure in observing the perpetual longing of the human to be star struck about future and in the process losing the all important all pervasive present He also makes a mockery of prevalent falsities in society where something as harmless as jazz can chain its women to strive for svelte figures at the expense of vitality; something as uplifting as art and fresco can underline the derisive palpability of nudity He also takes a dig at the preconceived notions of love and marriage and the obtuse manner in which the happening of one is regarded as a prereuisite for justification of the other He basks in the hackneyed idea of ownership that drives the callous human He spells it elouently “It is as if a royal child whom his father has placed for love’s sake in titular command of some great province under the real rule of wise counselors should come to fancy he really owns the cities the forests and the corn in the same way as he owns the bricks on the nursery floor” This book is a goldmine of veiled satire and I chuckled at the expressions if not always at the latent intentions Most of what I call lyrical sarcasm emanates from the failures of Wormwood and the wise senior never fails to pull him up While explaining him the nuances of “Unselfishness” he says “A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others And he suffixes it with “She’s sort of woman who lived for others – you can always tell the others by their hunted expression” However for all the chinks in “His” armour that Screwtape so vehemently drills into Wormwood’s head there are certain things he himself cannot fathom and hence cannot overcome He admits that the power of love which flows freely from “His” altar is a puzzle Evil’s years of research have failed to crack It is a kind of impregnable shield; a sort of ultimate immunity The simple pleasures of life like reading a book drinking tea or taking a stroll uplifts humans’ spirits to such insurmountable levels that reaching them becomes a distant dream; conuering them then gets out of uestion There is also an all numbing admission of “His” influence when Screwtape writes “As you ought to have known the asphyxiating cloud which prevented your attacking the patient on his walk back from the old mill is a well known phenomenon It is the Enemy’s most barbarous weapon and generally appears when He is directly present to the patient under certain modes not yet fully classified Some humans are permanently surrounded by it and therefore inaccessible to us” I am not giving away what culminates at the end not because it would foil interest but because it is not significant The picture that Lewis paints by the time he puts his last stroke is a mélange of ideas which although tilted to project one side as glorious does not undermine the merits on the other It is of a congregation of two schools of thought on a line where students and teachers can change side at any instant Even for a believer in Supreme Power I paused at many points and examined the validity of the arguments earnestly Let me say all said was not lost Thank you C S Lewis; I realized I was not all that wood after all Patting the impact this work created Time Magazine featured Lewis on its cover five years post publication of this work with a Devil of course D


  10. says:

    Feb 23 2018 I just picked this up again to read through some of my highlights I also wanted to mention that this book is dedicated to JRRTolkien One of the biggest literary influences dedicating his book to another one of biggest literary influences who also happens to be his friend If that doesn’t warm your bookish heart I don’t know what will I will be honest this was not the easiest read While the book itself is uite small the old English language and the style is written in made me reread some of the paragraphs than once That said this book is full of gems It makes you think of yourself in a way you might have never thought before It makes you uestion all of your choices because somehow you are finally aware of them It makes you uestion the government and it makes you uestion how you do life as a person It is as if someone exposed all of your dirty laundry and made you go through it after in public Lewis points out all of our human flaws and he is not shy about it But he also gives you the reasons of those flaws and how to overcome them In the end this book was nothing I thought it would be It's not a light read it's of a I gotta highlight the heck of some pages kind of a read I can't wait to go back and reread some of the hard truths over and over againMy WEBSITEMy INSTAGRAMMy WORDPRESS BLOG