Power Struggle In C. S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters

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“The descent to hades is the same from every place” said the ancient Greek philosopher Anaxagoras. Nowhere is that sentiment anywhere better mirrored than in C.S. Lewis’ book “The Screwtape Letters,” which consists of a series of letters written by an elder demon (the title character) to a junior devil advising him about how to tempt souls to hell; he speaks often of the “time-tested” ways of seducing lost souls. Moreover though, the work illustrates the society of the hell in which the demons dwell as an eternal power struggle not only with God but also with each other; Screwtape himself lays out his worldview as that “all selves are by their nature in competition.” The demonic struggle to dominate and control others is the modus vivendi…show more content…
Throughout the story, Screwtape often remarks about the ways in which the weakness and stupidity of humanity makes human society make it vulnerable to demonic influence. Moreover though, the way the demons interact among themselves gives the reader ample description as to what is or what can go wrong within our own society. For example, the demons are concerned with nothing except victory and are brutal and merciless; for them, the ends justify all means. Screwtape himself describes the praxis of hell as “bring us back food, or be food yourself.” Here then, the author is using the demons’ struggle for power over each other as a warning to humanity to reject such a ruthless and cold-blooded structuring in society, which has too often been the case in human…show more content…
Lewis uses the image of a vain demonic struggle for power in “The Screwtape Letters” to define the nature of evil, to highlight the contrast between good and evil, and to beyond this illustrate the shortcomings of human society, thus enhancing the meaning of the work. The struggle of hell is presented to the reader as a warning against evil while at the same time exposing its folly. Screwtape speaks of the demonic desire to dominate creation and corrupt all of humanity in the story. So, it is perhaps best to keep Lewis’ points about evil itself in mind when one reflects that the descent to hell is indeed the same

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