Screwtape Letter

In grad school I took a CS Lewis class; it was a lit class; and we were given an assignment to write a letter from Screwtape. The objective was to maintain as much of Lewis as possible—in style and syntax, and so forth. I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy doing impressions of authors anyway as it comes rather naturally to me; so I really had fun with this assignment.

Having had so much fun, I, naturally, wish you to share in all the fun; so I’m posting the letter here for all to enjoy. It makes the most sense if you’ve read Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. However, it’s perfectly readable on it’s own too. So, without further ado:

My Dearest Wormwood,

I’m sorry, I suppose you are to be called Virulence now; it might take me a while to get used to calling you by your new name. I trust now that you’ve been devoured you will be much more skilled at devouring. Being eaten alive once or twice really is the best thing that can happen to a young, un-ambitious devil as you were. This is a tactic that belongs solely to us, Virulence. The Enemy, Fool that He is, will never use it. Instead, the Enemy (He is always so backwards) lets those earthbound bipeds feast on Him! He is always giving of Himself to them (He really has no scruples, Virulence). I never will understand how He sustains Himself that way. Our Intelligence Office says it has something to do with His Trinitarian nature; that somehow He feeds on Himself, but I simply cannot understand that. How does He feed on Himself and let the vile vermin feed on Him without ever seeming to either weaken or grow stronger? I know the answer cannot possibly be that love of His that He keeps talking about. One day I am certain the Intelligence Office will decode the Great Lie He calls Love.

I do hope you have finally gotten over your adolescent fascination with pain and misery and destruction so that you will not be so distracted. The war is finally over, and if there is peace long enough, humanity will forget his brotherhood and any sense of altruism, and we shall be able to keep each patient focused on himself with greater ease; with the war, it was quite difficult to keep them thinking themselves so important. As I wrote to you previously, though you were too hedonistic to heed my advice, war is fun for us, but not always useful to us in our War.

Once they are focused entirely on their own needs, Virulence, they will never do the one thing that will actually satisfy their hunger. In their laziness they will only be concerned with getting fatter. And in their desire to fill their ravenous stomachs, they will begin to consume everything in sight only to find they are becoming less and less full by the moment until finally they have been hollowed out into empty soulless shells, ready for us to feed upon. In times of “peace” there will be plenty of deliciously destructive things the humans do to devour one another, some more helpful to our cause than others, but anything that will keep them from feeding on the Enemy is advantageous to us. With your new patient, Virulence, I hope you will be able to focus on the things I wrote to you about in my previous letters (perhaps you should reread them), and learn to keep him always at the World’s Table, and never at the Enemy’s Banquet. Perhaps one day I will write to you as Brother. For now, I remain

Your affectionate uncle
SCREWTAPE

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3 Responses to Screwtape Letter

  1. Dan says:

    We just completed this exercise as part of our small group at DTS. I found it to be a thought-provoking way to consider those trials the evil one is trying us with.

  2. I love this. I think you really nailed Lewis’ take on this, and I like the “devouring” scenario – I never thought of coming up with a new aspect of demonology, the way Lewis fancifully told it, when I had this assignment. This was fun. I especially appreciate the war/War play on words that reflects your recent posts on breaking grammar rules in good ways.

  3. reneamac says:

    Thanks so much guys!

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