Symbols in "Perelandra" by C.S. Lewis

Essay by wiseassHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2003

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Analysis of Symbols and Themes in C.S. Lewis's


British author C.S. Lewis's "Perelandra" is one of the most religiously relevant fantasy novels ever written. Set on the exotic planet of Perelandra (Venus), it contains within its pages the Creation legend of Adam and Eve, set in our time but in a different world. "Perelandra" is a story of an unspoiled world, the Garden of Eden denied to the residents of earth but still open to the two inhabitants of Perelandra. C.S. Lewis uses this unspoiled planet to retell the biblical creation myth of Adam and Eve. In the book, Maleldil, the supernatural ruler of the Solar System sends the English philologist Ransom to Perelandra. Once there, he finds a world unspoiled by sin, inhabited by The Green Lady and her King. Ransom soon discovers his reason for being sent to Perelandra, when the English physicist Dr. Weston arrives.

Weston is soon inhabited by the spirit of Satan, and is used as a vehicle to tempt the Green Lady into sin. Ransom meets the Prince of Darkness in a battle for the perfection of this world, and corruption or salvation of the Green Lady. Ransom frantically tries to outwit Weston's master by debate and persuasion, and eventually comes into physical combat with Satan in Weston's body. At the conclusion of the story, Weston's body is unusable to Satan, and so the Green Lady and King of this strange world remain obedient to Maleldil and free from sin, preserving the paradise planet that is Perelandra.

"Perelandra" is the tale of a great struggle between good and evil. It's central theme - temptation - is obviously well addressed in the course of the book. In fact, the entire book is rampant with obvious symbols and parallels between this story and that...