A Book Review Of C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters St. Stephen's University, Religious Studies Book Review

3045 words - 13 pages

Clive Staples Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters in 1942. This famous writer, poet, professor and theologian wrote both fiction and nonfiction, influencing both literature and the Christian Church irrevocably. The Screwtape Letters is a unique genre of Christian advice and spiritual critique, written as a chronological series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood. The main subject of these letters is a man, referred to as “the patient”, in whom Wormwood is tasked with gaining as victory for hell. This imparting of demonic wisdom serves as an insight into the spiritual realm, where Lewis seeks to convey the tactics of the devil in distracting and misleading Christians, so that the reader may leave with a greater awareness of the many forms that temptation may take. Upon a critical reading and reflection, it is clear that Lewis succeeds in using an inverted style to present the truth of a person’s spiritual journey and the ways that the devil may work to turn a Christian away from God. Using a relationship in the form of advice letters, with a person as the example, Lewis effectively exposes some misconceptions about spiritual and physical temptation, as well as awakening the reader to the psychological warfare that is part the human condition. Lewis achieves this by providing a simple glimpse into a fictional person’s journey of conversion and maturation of the faith from the point of view of a demon, who is set on dismantling the patient’s walk toward relationship with God. The Screwtape Letters’ organization as well as conversational style allowed Lewis to incorporate many aspects of Christian living and their adjoining pitfalls in one concise set of correspondences.
This compilation of thirty-one letters, consisting only of Screwtape’s side of the dialogue, presents an unexplored view, as it is written as an inversion of the way most Christians see and talk about spiritual realities. This inversion technique is helpful in that it challenges the reader to think critically about the advice that is being given from Wormwood and the overall message. The reader is constantly reminded that there is indeed a battle, and there is consequently a point of view that sees God as “the Enemy”. There is a constant reverse of the normal Christian language, where the Incarnation is “abominable”[footnoteRef:1], music is “detestable”[footnoteRef:2], and God’s love for His creation is “appalling”[footnoteRef:3]. While this may be too much for some readers, where the switched point of view is distracting and even confusing, overall it is an effective reminder that there is more to the spiritual realm than just God and His Goodness. [1: ] [2: Ibid., 215.] [3: Ibid., 207.]

Additionally, there is the added implicit message that each piece of advice carries. When Screwtape makes one observation, spoken in an inverted reality where bad is good and good is bad, there is often a truth that can be uncovered by the reader if one...

Find Another Essay On A Book Review of C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters - St. Stephen's University, Religious Studies - Book Review

Review of The Book Thief - Book Report

1111 words - 5 pages The Book Thief is a novel exploring the idea of death, friendship and words. Set in the fictional German town of Molching, a suburb of Munich during World War Two, death one of the novels main themes is continually mentioned throughout the novel. Friendship is another major theme in the novel, new friendships arise as character development is portrayed throughout the novel. Words and stories hold tremendous value in the novel, which suggests

Book Review of The Chrysalids

4691 words - 19 pages Book Review of The Chrysalids The future society depicted in "The Chrysalids" is still suffering the after-effects of a disaster sent by God, which all but destroyed the ancient world of the Old People. The survivors called the disaster Tribulation. No one knows why it happened, but the narrator, David, attributes it to "a phase of irreligious arrogance

Review Of 'The Book Thief'

1226 words - 5 pages Review of: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak It seems sometimes like the market for young adult literature is written down to the readers, almost in a condescending manner. That is why a book like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is so refreshing in this sea of cookie cutter romances and fantasies. While classified as a young adult novel, it deals with very serious themes. The book’s cover comes printed with this label: “It is 1939. Nazi

The Book Review of 1776

1954 words - 8 pages Introduction The American Revolution was an important historical event in America and is widely seen as the precursor to the declaration of independence. 1776 is a historical book by McCullough about the events surrounding the American Revolution in the year 1776. The book dwells on military elements of the revolution. The book also details the military command chain of the British Army as well as that of the continental Army. The author digs a

Review of the book Siddhartha,

853 words - 3 pages I am reviewing Siddhartha written by Hermann Hesse. In this paper I will try to break down this book with different philosophies. That means this paper is going to be a mess of different world views, cultures, all in the context of my understanding of life. I’ll be looking at the moral dilemmas of the characters in the book, bringing in perspectives from Hedonism, Existentialism, Utilitarianism, and concluding with a cross examination of

A Book Review

701 words - 3 pages there are no alternatives”.1 Overall I don’t feel that the book adequately gives a feel for the society and time period in such a way that someone would gain an understanding of the people or their ways and very little information that may give someone “alternatives”. There are a few exceptions to this namely the chapters discussing philosophy and politics but the book lacks a consistent vision, goal, or flow. The individual chapters mostly don’t

A book in review

2016 words - 9 pages may choose to let people affect their life. Leadership and management as explained by Covey are quite different. The meaning of leadership is the ability to initially understand by utilizing the first habit of being proactive. The example given in the book provided a clear understanding that we must first realize or visualize where we are going or in that case stated what we are building. You cannot create a successful structure without first

Book Review of a bible class Book of Acts - Faulkner University - Essay

1534 words - 7 pages Mateus Cesar 03/27/2016 Book of Acts Dr. James Gee Decisions of Life The Traveler’s Gift is a fable with a combination of self-help and fiction to get reader’s interest, where there are moments simultaneously passing on instructions for negative and positive thinking. David Ponder (the main character), begins to lose his hopes on life when he gets fired from his first job and doesn't know his place in the world anymore, but before he can put

book review

1028 words - 5 pages Shenton, James P. The Reconstruction: A Documentary History of the South after the War: 1865 1877. New York: Capricorn, 1963. Print. Book Review I read the book The Reconstruction: A Documentary History of the South after the War: 1865-1877 by James P. Shenton. James P. Shenton arrived at the University of Columbia at the age of 21 as a college freshman on the G.I. Bill. He finished his B.A. in three years and continued to finish his M.A. in

Book Review

1755 words - 8 pages which is the sequel to Affluenza. His major focuses in life seem to concern on the environment with his awards from the EPA in the past. Finally, Thomas Naylor is a former Duke University economics professor. He began the movement for a Second Vermont Republic that is mentioned towards the middle of this book. Like De Graaf and Wann, Naylor has written several works on the process of downsizing in order to improve the United States economy

Book Review

746 words - 3 pages Lewis, David L. When Harlem Was in Vogue. New York: Knopf, 1981. Print Reviewed By: Kayandra Screen When Harlem was in vogue is a prominent novel in history that depicts a time in African American History known as the Harlem Renaissance. Written by David L. Lewis, Professor of History at New York University, is from Little Rock, Arkansas. David Lewis’s edifying and casual approach to the novel gives the reader better insight on

Similar Essays

The Screwtape Letters By C.S. Lewis

676 words - 3 pages There is a continuous struggle for good and evil to reign inside a man who would have such struggle for his entire life. Lewis (2009) explained in the book Screwtape Letters the senior demon Screwtape exchanged letters with his nephew, Wormwood. The younger demon should follow orders of his uncle because he is less experienced on how to tempt the patient or man to believe more on Satan than the enemy God. The four main strategies the demons

Mere Christianity And The Screwtape Letters By C.S. Lewis

1246 words - 5 pages out religion, but the religion makes the story wonderful, not terrible. Gopnik seems to believe the religious symbolism should have been left out completely, but they should stay. However, admittedly, the symbolism could have been integrated in a more smooth and subtle way so they would not overpower the book. As one reads they find themselves thinking about the Bible stories instead of the actual book, which may have been Lewis’s intent. No

The Arsenal Of Democracy Book Review 2 University Of Alabama Huntsville Che 594 Book Review

776 words - 4 pages Ashley Burton Dr. Naveen Vetcha CHE 594-01 12 February 2018 A Review of "The Arsenal of Democracy, Part Two: The Liberator" “The Arsenal of Democracy” by A.J. Baime is a work of nonfiction that depicts the Ford Motor Company and their production of the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber during World War II. Part Two of the book, entitled “The Liberator” focuses on the assembly of the B-24 Liberator Bomber and the role that this plane played in helping

The Making Of A Quagmire: Book Review

1037 words - 4 pages The Making of a Quagmire Book Review         David Halberstam was a reporter assigned to the Vietnam conflict during 1962 and 1963. After graduating from Harvard University, David Halberstam went on to work for various newspapers. He went to work for the New York Times Washington bureau in 1960. In the fall of 1962, Halberstam was assigned to the Vietnam conflict. David Halberstam's book is an attempt to put into retrospect the