Angel and Devil on your shoulders

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, is a book that deals with human nature
and Christian faith. It takes a view on human nature from the devils
perspective. The book is in form of a collection of letters written by Screwtape
addressed to his nephew, Wormwood. The letters are advises to Wormwood on how to
lure his “patient” to Hell. Through the letters, Lewis showed that as devils
are working hard to make human sin, God’s Angels are working harder to save
our soul. He did not loss his faith in God.

The main characters of the book are Screwtape, a senior demon, and his nephew
Wormwood. Wormwood is a junior tempter, who is facing his first assignment: Damn
a young Englishman. We learned about the “patient” through Screwtape’s
letters; he seems like a very ordinary person. My favorite character is
Screwtape. Although he is a demon, he knows his work, ha has the knowledge of
human nature and how to manipulate it. For instance, he describes the
relationship between the man and his mother, while they are both annoyed by each
other. He was able to put his hands on how each feels he or she is right when
neither one of them is. He advised Wormwood on steps to take to influence the
man in encouraging the feelings of rightfulness in him, which results a larger
cap between the man and his mother. Through out the letters, they are filled
with such insights. Another case is when the man started to attend church, which
in Screwtape’s words is a “minor defeat”. He instructs Wormwood to keep
the man’s mind from realizing there is someone greater than him by having him
focus on himself. As the book goes on, we could see it clearer that he could be
any one of us. I saw a reflection of myself in him (which may not be a good
sign). I realized I draw a cap between the people I love and myself, and where I
have been focusing too much on myself.

This is a great book for those who are not Christians like me, because the
theme is a little out of ordinary. It is not a love story, nor a story with a
hero in it. It simply makes me think twice about what I am doing with my life,
and makes me wanting to be a better person. I may not have to be like the man to
live my life in prayers, but I can start with loving and helping others.

Category: Religion