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The Screwtape Letters

A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape, a senior tempter in the service of "Our Father Below." At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C. S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptationand triumph over itever written.Now, for the first time, The Screwtape Letters is presented with its full text alongside helpful annotations provided by Lewis enthusiast and dramatist Paul McCusker. The notes include literary, theological, and biographical information to enhance Lewis's core themes and demystify complex ideas. McCusker also guides readers to concepts and references from the beloved author's other treasured volumes to deepen and enrich this timeless classic. The annotated edition is the ultimate guide for understanding the heavenly truths buried in these epistles from below....

Title : The Screwtape Letters
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ISBN : 9780062023179
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Number of Pages : 223 pages
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The Screwtape Letters C.S Lewis Wormwood, a demon apprentice, must secure the damnation of a young man who s just become a Christian He seeks the advice of an experienced devil, his uncle Screwtape. The Screwtape Letters C.S Lewis was perhaps the greatest Christian writer of our age Find out at the Screwtape Letters Website The Screwtape Letters Literature TV Tropes A description of tropes appearing in Screwtape Letters A Epistolary Novel by C S Lewis in which a experienced devil named Screwtape writes a series The Screwtape Letters Download truechristianityfo Christianity The Screwtape Letters Download And if thy hand cause thee to stumble, cut it off it is good for thee to enter into life maimed, rather than having SparkNotes The Screwtape Letters Screwtape Screwtape is the author of the letters He is the most complex character offered by the book He is at once affectionate toward, and overly critical of, his nephew SparkNotes The Screwtape Letters Character List A list of all the characters in The Screwtape Letters The The Screwtape Letters characters covered include Screwtape, Wormwood, The Patient, The Patient s Mother The Screwtape Letters Letter XXII Summary Analysis Need help with Letter XXII in C S Lewis s The Screwtape Letters Check out our revolutionary side by side summary and analysis. Things You Might Not Know About The Screwtape Letters C.S Lewis s most popular non Narnia novel is a delicious, perceptive treatise on the weaknesses of human nature Here are little known facts about The Screwtape The Screwtape Letters Study Guide God versus religion In The Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis provides a series of lessons in the importance of taking a deliberate role in Christian faith by portraying a typical human life Radio Theatre The Screwtape Letters Focus on the NOTE This item is available only within the U.S From the award winning audio drama team that brought you Radio Theatre s Amazing Grace and The Chronicles

The Screwtape Letters Reviews

  • Rebecca McNutt

    This classic was surprisingly intriguing, definitely different from Lewis' usual works with its themes of religion and satire.

  • Jonathan Terrington



    I began The Screwtape Letters many years ago and only ever managed to begin three or so pages of it before finding the style too difficult for my younger self. It is a sign to me, therefore, of my development as an individual and reader, that I was able to sit down this afternoon and finish it off in two sessions.

    The Screwtape Letters is perhaps, C.S. Lewis' most nuanced and subtle work. Through providing a narrative that covers advice from a senior devil to his junior nephew, Lewis explores iss
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  • Seemita

    Where do I begin unloading this colossal bag of thoughts that are raging in my mind since yesterday? Well, my friend, you seem to be the victim today. So be it. Don’t term me evil; it is just the scent of one, I lived with for the last five days.

    Actually, this work is hardly anything except for a bunch of letters, from a senior to a junior; it is nothing more than a series of succinct correspondence, gathered cannily and disbursed even more astutely to the promising newbies. Now, have we all not

    “It is as if a royal child whom his father has placed for love’s sake, in titular command of some great province, under the real rule of wise counselors, should come to fancy he really owns the cities, the forests, and the corn, in the same way as he owns the bricks on the nursery floor.”
    This book is a goldmine of veiled satire and I chuckled at the expressions, if not always at the latent intentions. Most of, what I call lyrical sarcasm, emanates from the failures of Wormwood and the wise senior never fails to pull him up. While explaining him the nuances of “Unselfishness”, he says:
    “A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others." And he suffixes it with, “She’s sort of woman who lived for others – you can always tell the others by their hunted expression.”
    However, for all the chinks in “His” armour that Screwtape so vehemently drills into Wormwood’s head, there are certain things he himself cannot fathom and hence, cannot overcome. He admits that the power of love, which flows freely from “His” altar, is a puzzle Evil’s years of research have failed to crack. It is a kind of impregnable shield; a sort of ultimate immunity. The simple pleasures of life like reading a book, drinking tea or taking a stroll uplifts humans’ spirits to such insurmountable levels that reaching them becomes a distant dream; conquering them, then, gets out of question. There is also an all-numbing admission of “His” influence when Screwtape writes,
    “As you ought to have known, the asphyxiating cloud which prevented your attacking the patient on his walk back from the old mill, is a well-known phenomenon. It is the Enemy’s most barbarous weapon, and generally appears when He is directly present to the patient under certain modes not yet fully classified. Some humans are permanently surrounded by it and therefore inaccessible to us.”
    I am not giving away what culminates at the end, not because it would foil interest but because it is not significant.

    The picture that Lewis paints by the time he puts his last stroke, is a mélange of ideas which although tilted to project one side as glorious, does not undermine the merits on the other. It is more of a congregation of two schools of thought on a line where students (and teachers) can change side at any instant. Even for a believer in Supreme Power, I paused at many points and examined the validity of the arguments earnestly. Let me say all said was not lost.

    Thank you, C S Lewis; I realized I was not all that wood after all.

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    Patting the impact this work created, Time Magazine featured Lewis on its cover, five years post publication of this work, with a, Devil of course! :D

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  • K.D. Absolutely

    They say that there are two types of literature: escapist (entertainment) and meaningful (life-enriching). Some books are either one of them. However, many are somewhere in between like most of C.S.Lewis works. For example, his children's book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is more of an escapist rather than meaningful while his Mere Christianityis more, if not purely, meaningful rather than escapist.

    In my opinion, this book, The Screwtape Letters is exactly in the middle. Thus, I rated t

    Letter I:

    Screwtape: By the act of arguing you awake the patient’s reason. Do not attempt to use science as a defense against Christianity.

    Bible: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts, is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. - James 1:5-8

    K.D.: We have to ask questions and discuss about our faith (Christianity or other religions) including how science can make it stronger. Science and religion as reconcilable and they don’t sit in the opposite sides of the pole like what is depicted in the issue in the courtroom drama, “Inherit the Wind.”

    Letter II:

    Screwtape: Never let the patient ask what he expected Christians to look like. Let him wander how to reconcile the people, sitting on the pews near him in Church, who have lots of vices. Work on the emotional disappointment during his first few weeks as a churchman.

    Bible: God says in Isa. 9:17: “… for everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.” God loves the hypocrite in and outside the church and wants them to repent to become part of the Church.

    K.D.: We are our brothers’ keepers. We need to spread the word of God to the people we encounter as much as possible. There might be vices or sins around us, but if we show ourselves as examples, somehow, we can turn this world into a better place. Satan is always lurking and waiting for us to commit sins.

    Letter III.

    Screwtape:a. Keep his mind on the inner mental state of mind, where he won’t discover any of the facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone else. b. Make sure he is always concerned with his mother’s soul but never her rheumatism. c. Work on being annoyed at minor physical nuances, not realizing that he has them himself. d. He must demand his utterances be taken at face value while hers be suspected intention.

    Bible on “c”: And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” - John 8:7

    K.D.: We are all created in the image and likeness of God so we are inherently strong. However, most of us do not know ourselves. The devil perpetuates that by not challenging us so we think that we are weak. We tend to criticize, condemn and complain about others without seeing that we ourselves are not faultless.

    Letter IV.

    Screwtape: a. Teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling. b. They are animals, their bodies affect their souls.

    Bible on “a”:”And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” - 1 John 5:14-15.

    K.D.: God always hears us. Sometimes we think that our prayers are unanswered. No. Sometimes, God works on mysterious ways and we are just incapable to discern or understand His answers. Our body sometimes gives in to temptation (lust, gluttony, greed, etc) and the devil celebrates whenever we succumb to these things.

    Letter V.

    Screwtape: What permanent good does war do unless we make use of it to bring souls to our father below?

    Bible:”A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace." - Ecclesiastes 3:8

    K.D.: War is crazy. The devil uses it to his advantage to gather the souls of those who participate in it particularly those who take advantage of it to their benefits.

    Letter VI.

    Screwtape: a. Have him deal with future fears. b. Have him love humanity, but not his neighbor.

    Bible on “a””Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” - Matthew 6:34

    K.D.: Consider the lillies.

    Letter VII.

    Screwtape:a. Encourage him to be a materialist magician. b. Make the world the end and faith the means.

    Bible on “a”:”Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:19-21

    K.D.: I guess, “materialist” means materialistic or giving extreme importance to the riches here on earth. “Magician” means that Wormwood should make himself concealed because the Patient should find it easy to believe on him. I actually don’t know what this means. I read the passage twice and I just settled for that biblical passage from Matthew as its counterpart.

    Letter VIII.

    Screwtape:a. The Law of Undulation is: since man is spirit (eternal) and physical/natural (temporal), then undulation (consolation/desolation) is natural. Desolation occurs because God cannot ravish, he can only woo.

    Bible:”For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” - Hebrews 6:4-6

    K.D.: The devil encourages us to continuously sin against God.

    Letter IX.

    Screwtape: Any pleasure in its normal, healthy form is God’s territory. The father below encourages improper times, ways, degrees

    Bible:” For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

    K.D.: God wants us to be happy in the right way.

    Letter X.

    Screwtape:a. All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be. b. By vanity get him to see himself as balanced and complex because he can relate to both his worldly and Christian friends.

    Bible:” Some people pretend to be rich, but have nothing. Others pretend to be poor, but own a fortune. The rich have to use their money to save their lives, but no one threatens the poor. The righteous are like a light shining brightly; the wicked are like a lamp flickering out. Arrogance causes nothing but trouble. It is wiser to ask for advice. The more easily you get your wealth, the sooner you will lose it. The harder it is to earn, the more you will have. When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed, but a wish come true fills you with joy. If you refuse good advice, you are asking for trouble; follow it and you are safe. The teachings of the wise are a fountain of life; they will help you escape when your life is in danger. Intelligence wins respect, but those who can't be trusted are on the road to ruin. Sensible people always think before they act, but stupid people advertise their ignorance. Unreliable messengers cause trouble, but those who can be trusted bring peace. For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." - Proverbs 13:7-17

    K.D.: Let’s all be real at all times. Don’t pretend.

    Letter XI.

    Screwtape: Joy, fun, joke, flippancy: "Jokes can be used to cover other sins; flippancy is always bad.

    Bible:” Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!” - Proverbs 26:18-19

    K.D.: Joke only when it is appropriate and not to mask the truth.

    Letter XII.

    Screwtape: a. Men shun God just as men in financial embarrassment shun the sight of a bank book. b. The safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without milestones, without signposts.

    Bible:” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” - James 4:7

    K.D.: Listen to what God says, Screwtape. How dare you assume that we shun God. We don’t.

    Letter XIII.

    Screwtape: Always try to make him abandon the people or food or books he really likes in favor of ‘the best’ people, the ‘right’ food, the ‘important’ books

    Bible:”There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death..” - Proverbs 14:12

    K.D.: Choose who you associate with. Some of them can bring you to temptation. Choose the books that you read. Some of them are poisons to your brain. Choose the food that you it. Some of them are poisons to your body.

    Letter XIV.

    Screwtape: Humility is self-forgetfulness, not low self-esteem. Even if his sins he should not think too much.

    Bible:” Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. ..” - Philippians 2:3-11

    K.D.: Screwtape tells Wormwood that when the latter patient humbles himself, catch him in action. Say “wow, you’re the man!” and the patient will be proud of himself. Pride is a sin. The other way is what he Screwtape says above: make man think that being humble is a sign of weakness.

    Letter XV.

    Screwtape: Get man away from the eternal and from the Present. The Future is the thing least like eternity.

    Bible:” "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." - 1 John 5:20

    K.D.: Screwtape tells Wormwood that men are busy on glorifying God in his present daily life (God tells men to focus on the present. See Letter VI.) because of the promise of eternity. Therefore, the devil wants men not to associate God’s promise to the Future. Nice try, Screwtape!

    Letter XVI.

    Screwtape: The search for a suitable church makes the patient a critic when God wants a pupil.

    Bible: Question: Are there any Bible verses for not choosing any religion other than just Roman Catholic? Answer: No. The Scripture never told that Religion will give you salvation nor did it say it shall save you. However it is said in the Scripture in John 3:3 “that no one will enter the kingdom of God unless he is Born Again.” It should be understood that the term ´Born again´ there does not pertain to the religion. It pertains to the spiritual rebirth of a person where his old sinful and unworthy self dies and is baptized and is renewed in Christ Jesus as he accepts him as his Savior. DO NOT fool yourself with the shallowness of religion, or being religious. Instead, invest your life on Faith in God and in Jesus. Go to church, worship the Lord, give him his tithe and sow your seeds, have your devotions and share the Gospel and testify to God's greatness and get people saved!

    K.D.: Screwtape wants men to not be contented with his or her religion. He wants us to go shopping! I dunno. I don’t see the value of changing the religion that my parents taught me.

    Letter XVII.

    Screwtape: The ’All I want’ type of gluttony is never recognized as a determination to get what you want however troublesome to others. Gluttony can be: (a) not necessarily excess, but delicacy; (b) the belly dominating the life; (c) it is also an artillery prep for an attack on chastity.

    Bible: ”Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Proverbs 23:20-21

    K.D.: Guilty!

    Letter XVIII.

    Screwtape: Hell’s philosophy: one thing is not another thing especially one self is not another self. My good is not equal to your good. God: though many, is one. Love is this: The good of oneself is the good of another. The feeling of being in love is not love.

    Bible: ”So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” - Matthew 7:12

    K.D.: The Golden Rule says it all but the Devil is making it more complicated.

    Letter XIX.

    Screwtape: What is the enemy up to? It can’t be love!

    Bible: ”Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” - 1 John 4:8

    K.D.: Devil, you shut up!

    Letter XX.

    Screwtape: Make sex more important and its demands more impossible by unattainable women; get him to marry one.

    Bible: ”But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.” - 1 Corinthian 7:2

    K.D.: Better to stick to just one. Period.

    Letter XXI.

    Screwtape: Zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption that ‘my time is my own .’

    Bible: ”Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” - Proverbs 16:3

    K.D.: Time is gold. Better treat it as precious. Idle minds are easy targets of the devil.

    Letter XXII.

    Screwtape: In Heaven anything that is not music is silence.

    Bible: ” See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” - Matthew 18:10

    K.D.: Screwtape says that the devils should make a lot of noise to distract the people in hearing “melodies and silences of heaven.” Bah! Let’s have our iTunes tuned in to Heaven101.1!

    Letter XXIII.

    Screwtape: Make Jesus just a teacher, a teacher can’t be worshipped.

    Bible: ” A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” - Luke 6:40

    K.D.: I had really good teachers when I was in school but Jesus is the best one I ever had.

    Letter XXIV.

    Screwtape: 'How different we Christians are’ must mean ‘my sect’ which promotes self-congratulation.

    Bible: “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.” - Deuteronomy 12:29-31

    K.D.: All roads lead to one God.

    Letter XXV.

    Screwtape: God has created a balance of permanence and change. And the father below takes change and perverts it into insisting on change, otherwise boredom must result.

    Bible: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [changed] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” - Romans 12:2

    K.D.: The only permanent thing in this world is change – my favorite motto regarding change.
    Aha! GR does not allow me to continue because of the space limitation. Anyways, I think you got the drift. Just like the other C.S.Lewis meaningful books, it is better to read this if you already have a good grasp of the Holy Bible. Otherwise, you might get lost. Also, there is nothing funny here!

    Overall, nice and short read. I read the book twice. The second one was while composing this review. ...more

  • Guy Austin

    My first dip into C.S. Lewis – I have to say I was a bit surprised. It was not what I had thought it would be. I had read the Chronicles of Narnia with my daughter. I enjoyed that. I had heard about his other writing but never felt compelled to try them. My mind has been changed.

    The Book or rather letters from Uncle Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood seemed silly to me at first glance. Instead I found a very humorous telling of advice in the form of letters in securing the damnation and soul of “
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  • Rachel

    Witty? Yes. Brilliant? Yes. Funny? Not so much.

    I mean, I can see how it could be funny, but it wasn't funny to me.

    In fact, it was downright terrifying in spots.

    Why? Because I saw so much of myself in this book. Complacent, distracted, and not very invested in my faith? Yeah, that is me just FAR too often. This was a very convicting book for me, and made me take a long look at how habitual my faith can become. Which is great, because it made me examine my prayer life, my Bible-reading habits, and
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  • Bagger

    I have read this book twice before but after my worship pastor mentioned a quote that I had forgotten in one part of the book Wormwood writes his uncle Screwtape with great fear that his subject has begun going to church, his uncle quite easily assures him that the best thing to do is keep him in church, but keep him proud of the fact that he always attends the services or sits in the same area, as long as Wormwood keeps him in the building and away from God.

    I think Lewis is one of those authors
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  • Jason Koivu

    More fun and playful than I'd anticipated.

    As a platform upon which to discuss his beliefs and thoughts on theology, government, society and the nature of mankind in general, C.S. Lewis constructed The Screwtape Letters, an epistolary novel in the form of instructive letters from senior demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a sort of demonic trainee. For all intents and purposes, they are lectures, but lectures jazzed up and made more palatable for the student's mind.

    It was about 20 years ago
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