The Screwtape letters review


Goodreads: The story takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior “tempter” named Wormwood, so as to advise him on methods of securing the damnation of a British man, known only as “the Patient”.

Screwtape holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy (“Lowerarchy”) of Hell, and acts as a mentor to Wormwood, the inexperienced tempter. In the body of the thirty-one letters which make up the book, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin in the Patient, interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiarly morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it.

This book bothered me to no end in my teens.  I could not stand the idea of demons discussing me and my faith in this way.  It brought home to me that demons are as real as angels.  I could stand the idea of angels watching over me but not of demons undermining me and being gleeful when I stumbled.

My sister and I were discussing it the other day so I started re-reading it.  I find it bothers me just as much but not because I think of demons watching me but because the “morally reversed world” that is described in the book is a lot like the world today and I find that sad.

I recommended it to her husband because she said it is over her head.  I am sure he has read it already but she got it from the library just in case he hadn’t.

Read it and see if it bothers you.  🙂


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