Through characters like Eustace, Psyche, and Orual, and others, Lewis reminds us that transformation from what we now are is a necessity if we wish to know God. We must relinquish the lies we blindly wear and be stripped to the bone; ironically, we have to go under the water so that we don't drown or die of thirst. Pauline, of Charles Williams's Descent into Hell, "was not yet prepared to accept the terror of good" (107), but she learns that "the Lord does things in the midst of a fire" (93). Pauline's salvation lies in relinquishing her fear to a friend and simultaneously facing her doppelganger, her double. That courage leads to her freedom from fear. Thus, a study of Lewis's and Williams's treatments of the fierceness of good clarifies that the terrible good is a purgation necessary to free the shrinking soul for its deepest soul work.
"The Necessity of the Terrible Good in the Works of C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams,"
Inklings Forever: Published Colloquium Proceedings 1997-2016: Vol. 8, Article 15.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol8/iss1/15
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