Love: Selfish or Selfless?

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St. Paul states, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (Holy Bible: Placed by the Gideons, 1 Corinthians 13:12). Facing a mirror reveals one’s true self because looking at a reflection is looking into one’s soul. It is self-realization that shows the selfish or selfless love resting within one’s heart. For many centuries and still today, love is described as one of the best feelings on earth, a feeling that has brought about joy, as well as heartbreak. C.S. Lewis captures this intangible feeling through his writing. He devotes these two novels to show that love can be selfish yet selfless, and both aspects have a place in life. Through his writing, he expresses that need-love and gift-love can merge in the four types of love: charity, affection, friendship, and eros. C.S. Lewis's The Four Loves describes the kinds of love, need-love, gift-love, charity, affection, friendship, and eros, found in Till We Have Faces that are ultimately expressed by the characters themselves. Just as God gave himself to His son and His son gave Himself up for his people, gift-love is a divine love (Lewis, TFL 1). With gift-love, there is no expectation of something in return. Lewis writes, “The typical example of Gift- love would be that love which moves a man to work and plan and save for the future well-being of his family, which he will die without sharing or seeing, of the second, that which sends a lonely or frightened child into its mothers arms” (Lewis, TFL 1). A man works his whole life to provide his family with a livelihood, but by the time of his death, he will never see the impact he made because gift-love is given with no hopes of receiving anyt... ... middle of paper ... ...that Lewis “shows how each love is able to merge into another or even become another” (Duriez 71). Shown through the characters themselves, gift-love and need-love play significant roles within affection, friendship, eros, and charity. Each of the characters, Orual, Psyche, Fox, and Bardia captivate an aspect of love that applies to The Four Loves and Till We Have Faces. Works Cited Bible. Holy Bible (placed by the Gideons). Gideons International, 1961. Print. Duriez, Colin. The C.S. Lewis Encyclopedia. Wheaton: Good News, 2002. Print. Lewis, C.S. The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1988. Print. Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces; A Myth Retold. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1984. Print. Myers. Doris. Bareface. Colombia: U of Missouri P, 2004. Print. Schakel, Peter J. Reason and Imagination in C.S. Lewis. Grand Rapid, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1984. Print.

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