Message Board | Rules

Thread: screwtape letters

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Books > screwtape letters   
my friend recoomended "screwtape letters to me. what is this book?
This is a fictional book by C.S. Lewis which he dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis wrote the book as if it were the letters of a elder devil to his younger, inexperienced nephew. Screwtape, the experienced demon, instructs the young Wormwood in how to handle his "patient," and keep him from falling into the hands of the "enemy," God. It is quite an interesting book, and becomes more interesting since the "patient" enters WWII, is killed, and leaves the world ready for God. This is not at all to the liking of Screwtape, and there are reprecussions for Wormwood and a lesson for us.
If I recall correctly, The Screwtape Letters is one of Lewis's better-selling books. Was it originally published in chapters in a weekly magazine or newspaper? Whatever the case -- it's got some very revealing ideas about what demons would like to tempt us with, about what strategies a demon would use to entice a person into evil; and even about what evil is. I think it's directed primarily toward a christian audience, I don't know how well it would appeal to people outside the realm of christianity. To me, as a christian, it serves as a warning and an eye-opener. As with all Lewis' writing, it has a clarity and logic in thought and style that is hard to beat.
I read this the Screwtape Letters last summer. Though I do not agree with all of Lewis views on religion, the book was a great eye opener as far as 'the evils around us' are concerned. It is chilling; the view Lewis takes on the 'relationships' that exist twixt the devils; on the surface polite but with true malice and self-greed underlying the devils' characters. The preface to my paperback edition is insanely interesting in itself.

I said I first read 'Screwtape' last summer; in fact, I read it just after finishing Tolkien's 'Letters'. That was interesting, seeing these two authors’ views on Christianity back to back. Between the two friends, Lewis's out look on religion appears darker (in the sad sense of the word). After finishing the book, I ended up moping around the house for the rest of the day... I am glad I read it however and I would dually recommend it to any interested in such things.

It made me smile to see whom the book was dedicated to Winking Smilie
I recall reading Lewis lamenting somewhere that "screwtape" really ought to be balanced by some heavenly book of advice from an archangel to a guardian angel; but he said while it was insanely (hellishly? damned?) easy to descend into a devilish point of view, he didn't have the audacity or the mindset to take on a heavenly point of view. "every sentence would have to smell of heaven" was his comment, I think. It's telling that Lewis never wrote another book of screwtapes letters even though his publisher (I think) wanted him to; he decided it wasn't spiritually healthy to look at life through a demon's eyes. I think you can't really take an accurate view of Lewis' christianity from screwtape: the book is necessarily dark because of the narration device. The ending of Perelandra (the "conversation" between Mars, Venus, Tor, Tinidril, and Ransom) is perhaps a good balancing bit of Lewis' work to read next to this book.
To my shame, I have not read the screwtape letters, but am now motivated to do so. Thanks people!

Angeltape letters. How novel! I am immediately thinking of Micheal Landon's Highway to Heaven. Its almost there...