Analysis Of Lewis Till We Have Faces: A Mythology

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Mythology reveals details about the social, religious, and philosophical beliefs of early civilizations. Myths also expose flaws of human nature. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold reveals that it is easier to accept a distorted sense of self and reality rather than face the truth. Orual insists that her struggles are caused by the gods, but in the last section of the novel, the main character, also the narrator, reveals the role she plays in her own painful journey. The protagonist finally “faces” some difficult truths, and holds herself accountable for the hardships she causes or endures. While it is often said that “ignorance is bliss” (Gray), Lewis illustrates through the narrative perspective, epiphany and symbolism that sometimes an…show more content…
When Orual encourages Psyche to defy her husband, Psyche’s disobedience leads to her suffering. Orual rationalizes that her behaviour is for Psyche’s own good. However, not everything is as it seems. Orual is actually motivated by her own jealousy: she resents that Psyche has created a life filled with love and happiness without her, so Orual selfishly wants Psyche to be miserable. However, this information is not disclosed through Lewis’ limited narrative perspective. Furthermore, after Orual convinces her sister to betray her husband, Psyche is banished, but Orual denies any culpability for her sister’s exile. Rather, Orual blames the gods for failing to guide her. She exclaims, “You are all my enemies now. None of you will ever do me good again. I see now only executioners” (Lewis 199). However, Orual eventually gains a more honest perspective of her actions. She experiences an epiphany when she acknowledges, “And I knew what had been done to her, and who had done it” (Lewis 299). She admits that she is responsible for the wrongs that she has done. She stops depicting herself as a victim, and tells her tale with less bias. Removed of the illusions about herself, she becomes less accusatory and more self-aware because she removes the blinders that distort her perception of reality. In the end, she finally experiences happiness, and she dies with peace in her heart…show more content…
Oedipus, a famous Theban King, refuses to believe that he has murdered his own father and married his own mother despite hearing the news from a reliable source. In fact, Oedipus threatens Tiresias, a well-respected prophet, accuses him of a conspiracy, and insults him when he exclaims, “You have no power or truth. Your are blind, your ears and mind as well as eyes” (Sophocles 23). Although Tiresias is physically blind, it is Oedipus who is metaphorically blind to the truth. He refuses to accept horrific news because to do so would require him to admit the enormity of his crimes. In the end, when Oedipus acknowledges the truth, he blinds and exiles himself from the royal city to atone for his crimes. As well, Othello, Cassio, and Roderigo are all blind to Iago’s deviousness and need for revenge. None of the men can see what is right before them because to do so, would require each to admit a flaw within themselves. It is much easier, at the end of the play, for the characters to blame Iago for his deception rather than admit that their own weaknesses have left them susceptible to Iago’s manipulation. Both Othello and Cassio lose their positions, and the respect and honour that is associated with their status, and Roderigo, the fool, dies; the tragic outcomes occur because each lets his jealousy or need for love blind him to the truth. Luckily, Orual
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