The nature of evil

Recently, I read CS Lewis’s space trilogy.  These three books contain some of the most chilling depictions of evil I have come across in literature.  In Perelandra, Weston is essentially the Devil.  The heart of the story is a retelling of the Temptation of Eve.  Lewis’s “devil” is horrifying in appearance and action.  Yet what I find most disturbing is the actual temptation.  Everything he says is true.  Everything he does to tempt “Eve,” on the surface at least, is innocent.  There seems no way to stop him or undo his work.  The entire scenario is truly disturbing.

Let’s change tack a bit. 

Saruman.  Why did he fall?  Because he studied the works of Sauron too closely, too deeply. 

If you’ve read any biographies or analytical works about Tolkien and his life, you will find this danger in the study of evil also in his life.  It is the reason in part for tensions between Tolkien and Lewis.  In Screwtape Letters as well as his Space Trilogy, Lewis delves deeply into the mechinations of the devil.  …Just some food for thought.

 Back to Lewis’s Weston/devil.  He sounds a lot like another character, doesn’t he?  It hit me recently while contemplating Tolkien’s views on evil.  Weston :: Wormtongue.  They are tantilizingly similar.  Both use a twisted partial truth to corrupt and attack.  This also extends to the Ring, of which I will go into more detail later.

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