(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
Hello Inklings fans! First, I apologize for the delay. For all my goals of not putting too much on my plate and not reaching a point to make me lose my mind (up in here, up here), March majorly failed in all aspects. Mea culpa though and lessons learned. Sometimes, it just takes me years to learn something :).
Anyway, I finally have a few thoughts on The Hideous Strength (and I apologize this isn’t the longest or most thorough of all discussion posts).
This was quite a different read from the first two in the trilogy. It can definitely stand on its own and if you’re expecting it to be like the first two, just know, it’s not.
This seemed to be a mix of all the things. There’s the dystopian vibe, the satirical commentary of politics, the search for meaning and truth (with Jane), unhealthy desire in career (Mark), our old favorite (Ransom), planets and, you know, Merlin too. What did y’all think of all the pieces? I haven’t decided what I think. I know, just great for a discussion post – ha! It’s so different, but that doesn’t mean better or worse for me. I think I would need to re-read it to have a stronger opinion (and unfortunately didn’t have time for that).
“There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there’s never more than one.”
Jane’s journey reminded me a bit of Ransom’s, in that her journey towards truth wasn’t one defining moment, but bit by bit and over time. I liked that Lewis had them as a realistic couple, with a troubled marriage, priorities not necessarily in the right order and the different paths each one took. So different, but through fantasty-ish/dystopian, we were able to learn from both of them.
I knew early on Mark was going to frustrate me – ha! At one point early on, this quote popped up:
“And Mark said – God forgive him, he was young and shy and vain and timid, all in one…”
But Mark came through in the end and I thought this was a great ending too:
“Still she did not move that latch. Then she noticed that the window, the bedroom window, was open. Clothes were piled on a chair inside the room so carelessly that they lay over the sill: the sleeve of a shirt – Mark’s shirt – even hung down over the outside wall. And in all this damp too. How exactly like Mark! Obviously it was high time she went in.”
There’s plenty more to add and my plan is to come back and do just that. Honestly, with it being already late, I didn’t want to hold off posting something.
Please share your thoughts, favorite quotes and any other fun! I still think my favorite is Out of the Silent Planet – which one is your favorite?