An excerpt from CS Lewis’ book, The Great Divorce


In this chapter from the book “The Great Divorce”, by CS Lewis, people who have died can volunteer to visit Hell and Heaven as a tour by way of a grand bus, and decide if you want to stay.  A brilliant book, with a piercing look into the heart and personality of people, and how one would even be able to deny such a beautiful thing as heaven.  This book fits into the genre of fantasy so is it in no way a look into the theological position that CS Lewis holds over heaven and hell.

The context is Big Man, called the “ghost”, finds his employee/murderer who has found a place in heaven, and this friend has been sent to persuade his Big Ghost friend to come to the kingdom of heaven, which they can see in the background.  The angelical being just got done chiding his friend on how poorly the Big Man had treated people while on earth, in an effort to show him that really, he was a man not all played up like he proclaimed himself to be.  That’s where we dive in….

“You mind your own business, young man, said the Ghost, “None of your lip see, Because Im not taking any impudence from you about my private affairs.”

“There are no private affairs”, said the other.

“And I’ll tell you another thing,” said the ghost, “You can clear off see?  You’re not wanted.  I may be only a poor man but I’m not making pals with a murderer, let alone taking lessons from him.  Made it hard for you and your like, did I?  If I had you back there I’d show you what work is.”

“Come and show me now”, said the other with laughter in his voice.  “It will be joy going to the mountains, but there will be plenty of work.”

“You dont suppose I’d go with you?”

“Don’t refuse.  You will never get there alone.  And I am the one who was sent to you.”

“So thats the trick is it?” Shouted the ghost, outwardly bitter and yet I thought there was a kind of triumph in its voice.  It had been entreated: it could make a refusal: and this seemed to it a kind of advantage. “I thought there’d be some damned nonsense.  It’s all a clique, all a bloody clique.  Tell them Im not coming, see?  I”d rather be damned than go along with you.  I came here to get my rights, see?  Not to go snivelling along on charity tied onto your apron-strings.  If they’re too fine to have me without you, I’ll go home.”  It was almost happy now that it could, in a sense, threaten. “That’s what I’ll do’, it repeated, “I’ll go home.  I didn’t come here to be treated like a dog.  I’ll go home.  That’s what I’ll do.  Damn and blast the whole pack of you…”  In the end still grumbling, but whimpering also a little as it picked its way over the sharp grasses, it made off.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s