College of Arts and Sciences
C.S. Lewis, Cupid and Psyche, Anthropocentrism, Till We Have Faces
Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Modern Literature | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Hogsed, Hunter, "Faceless Man and Infinite God: Till We Have Faces A Subversion of Greek Anthropocentrism" (2022). Senior Honors Theses. 1184.
C. S. Lewis’s novel Till We Have Faces directly subverts the Greek anthropocentric view of both God and man. The Greek myths of Hesiod-Homer and platonic philosophy hold to a view of man being morally superior to the gods. The character of Orual in Till We Have Faces represents Greek anthropocentrism. Orual opens the story accusing the gods of stealing her beloved sister Psyche but, through an encounter with the madness of the divine, sees herself as the true destroyer of her sister’s face. The illusion of her own moral superiority crumbles away as she sees how her love is vile and selfish defacing the people that become the objects of her love. Lewis deconstructs Orual’s viewpoint by revealing that she is guilty of exactly what she accused the gods of doing. Orual realizes the mystery of God is vastly better than the rationality of man. Lewis provides a clear image of humanity as a faceless unrealized being that can only gain true identity in light of knowing and loving its creator.