BOOKS: The Great Divorce

I read the entire “Chronicals of Narnia” and loved them and plan on reading it again. I just finished “The Screwtape Letters” and enjoyed that. Both had deeper meaning that what you just read in the story. I have started reading “The Great Divorce” I am 42 pages into it and haven’t been able to make any sense of it. Can anyone give me some insight into it and what is a happening. I heard it is supposed to be about a bus ride to Heaven and Hell, but it hasn’t explained that yet.

Hi, :slight_smile:
the Great Divorce is sort of a hypothetical scenario… about what would happen if souls in hell would visit Heaven and be given the choice to remain there. CS Lewis is trying to say that those in hell hold on to their sins so strongly that they’d even prefer them to eternal happiness. Almost all the souls decide to return back to hell. The meaning of the story is supposed to be that if you want Heaven, you have to be ready to give up any part of yourself, any sin that you’re attached to. It’s a pretty interesting book :slight_smile: purely fictional of course… the main character is Lewis himself.

CS Lewis is a great author, hope you enjoy the book :slight_smile: I’ve read it several times now.

God bless!!

I really liked Screwtape Letters also, however I felt the need to go to Confession afterward! Good insight, but I felt like I had been in the presence of evil (not that I think CS Lewis is evil, just that the book was that good at getting its point across).
A couple other ladies in our book club felt the same way too.

Mere Christianity is on my reading list, right now. I’m a big fan of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, but I’d to see what’s on the other side of the argument. :slight_smile:

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

I also read the Screwtape letters a couple of times and enjoyed it. My first CS Lewis book was the Great Divorce and I also had trouble following it. I’d read a chapter set it down and go back and still was confused. I decided to sit down one day and read it cover to cover. It was then that I understood it.

Good luck, Aaron


I’m a big fan of C.S. Lewis and the Great Divorce is one of my favorite books. One of the themes that is found in the book is the idea that we are the ones who keep our selves out of heaven by the choices we make in life, that in spite of the fact that heaven is ours for the taking, we choose to hold onto the things of this world and end up in hell.

There is a lot more to the book than that. It is a really rich work.

It’s kind of like a mash-up of Dante’s Divine Comedy and William Blake’s poem “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” – hence Lewis’s title “The Great Divorce” – and while William Blake is known for creating some awesome imagery, he tends to be all over the map, which is probably the main reason behind the almost hallucinatory feel to the book. I’ve read Lewis’s Space trilogy, the Screwtape Letters, the Chronicles of Narnia, and “Till We Have Faces”, and I still get tripped-up by “The Great Divorce”.

The Great Divorce is somewhat hard to follow if you keep trying to make sense of it. Try reading it like it was a dream, where things don’t necessarily make sense. Just try to follow the story to where it takes you and not ask what’s going on with this or that. In the end it will make a lot of sense.

I will say I enjoyed the book and it’s message about those in hell holding on to their sins.

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