Triumph and Sorrow
This chapter establishes the pattern of surface triumph and underlying sorrow that will characterize Orual's reign over Glome. Her defeat of Argan, which establishes her queenship of Glome and Trunia's kingship of Phars, is a triumph, but the victory celebration that follows is disgusting and empty of joy. The previous chapter showed the similarities between the experiences of Orual and Psyche; this chapter emphasizes the differences: the fight and its consequences are worlds away from Psyche's sacrifice and ecstatic marriage.
The chapter is divided into three parts: preparations for the fight, the fight, and the life situation created for Orual by her victory. In each part minor details create contrasts with the sacrifice of Psyche.
Before the fight, both Orual and Psyche hope to be courageous, but Orual wishes to “make a brave show [in the procession through the city] and in the fight.” By contrast, Psyche, on her last night in Glome, tries not to weep even in private, for she says, “We must not shame our lineage” (TWHF, 216, 70). Neither is much concerned about her own death, for Orual is numbed by the political consequences and Psyche by the drugs she has been given. Both go out with faces covered, for Orual wears a hood covering her whole helmet, making her into a “scarecrow or leper, ” while Psyche wears a wig and heavy, mask-like makeup, turning her into “an ugly doll” (TWHF, 216, 80).
See TWHF, pp. 215–25.
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Publication information: Book title: Bareface: A Guide to C.S. Lewis's Last Novel. Contributors: Doris T. Myers - Author. Publisher: University of Missouri Press. Place of publication: Columbia, MO. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 98.
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