That Hideous Strength

682 Words3 Pages
That Hideous Strength, the third novel in C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, is a strong representation of redemption and its effect on human nature. Lewis has written about redemption before, particularly in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Screwtape Letters. However, his description of what redemption does to humans is never more poignant than in That Hideous Strength, especially in regards to the protagonists Jane and Mark Studdock. When the book opens, the first characters introduced are Jane and Mark. It is clear that they are the embodiment of everything Lewis sees as a flaw in “young folks.” Jane is consumed by twisted feminist views that lead her to want to be the best wife possible, but still allow her to regret being married and begrudge Mark for everything he takes for granted. Mark is a pompous Fellow at the local college, and nothing concerns him more than being in the “inner circle” and by extension, being well-respected and liked. In fact, it is this flaw of Mark that leads him to fall in with the evil N.I.C.E. for the first half of the book. Much like how Edmund’s hubris leads him into the arms of the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Mark is slowly encompassed in the twisted political levels of N.I.C.E.. He wants to be involved in the Deputy Director’s fireside conversations and whispered to in confidence during secret meetings. His conscience is suppressed until moments before he believes he is about to die. His repentance comes in the form of half-forgotten memories and the bit of self-loathing he always seemed to be missing before. It is at this point in That Hideous Strength that Mark’s change in opinion of himself seems to be the only thing that will save him. He has not found God, or Maleldil, or any high power, but his new humility will be enough to save him. From this moment on, Mark is able to see clearly what
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