- The Screwtape Letters © 1942, renewed 1996
- Includes Screwtape Proposes a Toast (© 1959, renewed 1987)
- San Francisco: HarperCollins
- 209 pages
I’ve read through this book a number of times. The first thing that always strikes me is the perspective. Lewis is writing from the viewpoint of a Senior Devil (Screwtape) to a Junior Devil (Wormwood). Wormwood has a human being to tempt, and Screwtape is there to help him handle his charge. This perspective gives us some interesting phrases like, “Our Father Below”. Good is evil and vice versa in this book.
But this book is far more than just an creative writing exercise. Screwtape has a profound understanding of human nature. Here’s some of that wisdom:
- Prosperity knits a man to the World. (I used this one earlier)
- Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
- Whatever men expect they soon come to think they have a right to.
- Up to a certain point, fatigue makes women talk more and men talk less.
- Suspicion often creates what it suspects.
The chapters are short, the reading is easy, and the wisdom is deep.