The Great Divorce – by C.S. Lewis

Good morning y’all !!

I finally finished that book by C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce. I say finally because every single word I didn’t know, I looked for it in the dictionary. And it’s 20 pages of my small notebook… But I’m cheating, there are some words I looked 3 or 4 times for… I will let you guess which ones…

The Great Divorce sur marbre

Here’s the summary. It’s the story of C.S. Lewis (he says « I ») in a strange world. At the beginning he is queuing to take a bus. During that time he discovers « the grey town ». A place where you can get everything material you need or want, but where people are quarrelsome. So you are often lonely. In that city, it’s an everlasting after-sunset gray light.
Some people renounce to take the bus, but Lewis eventually takes it. The journey with other people from a gray light to a radiant blue light is the instant to whimper about the gray town and its rules. It’s also the moment to be afraid of what’s coming: a bright land where everything is tough and so heavy that you couldn’t bear a leaf…
At the arrival, some people from the bus, who in fact are transparent as Ghosts, meet Spirits from that luminous land. But many of them experience the meeting with someone they knew on Earth and don’t want to see anymore. It becomes hard to repent and believe the joy you can see when that’s asked by a friend of yours that you call a murderer. It’s hard to « just » believe when you used to be a Protestant earthman and to like discussing the Bible … One woman is asked to renounce « taking in charge » her husband in Heaven (that means renounce trying to change her husband’s way of life). To « go to Heaven »,  you need to change, you need to trust, you need to be yourself, as the man who was acting during his life, represented as a Tragedian character clutched through a chain by a Dwarf, and who disappears when he doesn’t renounce his tragic appearance …
This fable is about the discovery of Heaven,  a wonderful land with plain joy and mirth, but where you change and leave grumbling and whining, lust, jealousy in the grey town, which is finally a very small place in the crackles of  Heaven’s ground.

I liked very much this book. Because ideas are not given dry nor complicated. They are given as fables, like stories for the child I am. I discovered a wonderful land, with deep colors as crimson, radiant blue or golden apples, with flowers as heather and hawthorn, covered with dew. I also went through the different human characters (and characteristic sounds): grumbling, whimpering, whining, sulkily, wicked, but also mirth, joy, in love and mere.

I looked on Wikipedia about The great divorce, and I learned that the original title was « Who goes home? ». That’s interesting when you read about people who created their own Hell on Earth. You choose your home as you can choose to truly love and to be happy before the death.

And you? Did you read The Great Divorce? Would you recommend me another reading?

The reading Frog


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