Alexzandra Garza.
Mr. Garcia.

Screwtape Letters Essay.

The chapter is written as a letter, addressed to "my dear Wormwood ." A yet unnamed writer encourages Wormwood to influence "our patient" by controlling what he reads and who he talks to. The writer points out, however, that Wormwood is naive to believe that the best way to influence the patient is to use logic—this has ceased to be the case for at least a few centuries. The writer mentions that Wormwood must keep the patient away from the " Enemy ."
The writer explains how humans have changed in recent times. Humans used to believe in truth and falsehood, but nowadays, they're trained to study dozens of beliefs that contradict one another. The patient thinks of beliefs as being useful or useless, not true, or false. For this reason, Wormwood 's best strategy is to use jargon, not logic, to convince the patient to stay away from "the Church." Wormwood's goal is to make the patient believe in the doctrine of Materialism. The writer's point, however, is that Wormwood should "sell" this belief on the grounds that it's "strong," not that it's correct.
The writer recalls a "young atheist" he was trying to keep away from the Enemy . One day, the atheist was thinking "the wrong way." Instead of trying to convince him to think the opposite, the writer tried to convince the atheist to eat lunch. The Enemy tried to convince the atheist to continue thinking, but the writer managed to get him to go eat. During lunch, the atheist became distracted by reality—streets, newspapers, cars, etc.—and soon he forgot his train of thought. The atheist is now "safe in Our Father 's house."
The writer tells Wormwood that Wormwood must impress upon human beings the ordinariness of the world. Trying to influence humans using science is counterproductive, he argues, because it encourages humans to think abstractly. Wormwood's goal, the writer concludes, is to confuse the patient , not educate him. He signs the letter, "Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape ."
Screwtape 's second letter begins with the news that Wormwood 's patient has become a Christian. Screwtape encourages Wormwood not to despair, since many humans have flirted with the Enemy before returning to evil.
Screwtape points out that the devils' greatest ally is arguably the Church itself. Humans cannot the see the Christian church in its historical majesty—instead, they see half-ruined old buildings. Thus , they come to disrespect the Church, and gravitate toward evil.
Wormwood should try to control where the patient sits when he goes to church, Screwtape advises. The patient is a fool, meaning that he confuses Christianity with the specific Christians he sees: old, ugly, or foolish people. Thus , the patient will come to disrespect Christianity if, when he goes to church, he sees people of this kind. Screwtape reminds Wormwood that he'll have plenty of time to show his patient "clarity" when the patient is in Hell.
One of Wormwood 's most important weapons is disappointment, Screwtape reminds him. All humans feel disappointment in the moment after they've bravely begun a new project—which could be marriage, school, or, in the patient 's case, Christianity. This disappointment occurs because the Enemy creates humans to be free. Freedom is both an advantage and a disadvantage for the devils: they have more of an opportunity to tempt humans to Hell, but if humans freely convince themselves of Christianity, then devils have a much harder time swaying them in the future.
Screwtape references information Wormwood has given him about the patient's mother . He advises Wormwood to talk to Glubose , a "colleague" whose job is tempting the patient's mother. Wormwood and Glubose must conspire to create small annoyances between the patient and his mother.
Screwtape lists methods for creating a rift between the patient and his mother . The first method is to keep the patient thinking about "inner life." In this way, the patient will only think about the most abstract truths, completely neglecting to think about himself in all his obvious weaknesses and idiosyncrasies. The patient must think he is examining himself without actually discovering the facts about himself that are obvious to everyone who knows him.