Essay about Subtlety and Psychology in "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis

Essay about Subtlety and Psychology in "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis

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The book, The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, shows how Screwtape uses subtlety and psychology when he is tempting human beings into sin. He plays with the patient’s imagination, emotions, will, and intellect. Also, he shows great shrewdness when encouraging sin that does not appear to be sin. Screwtape shows effective psychology in encouraging the patient to displace intellect and will in prayer with imagination and emotion, and he shows subtlety in encouraging gluttony of delicacy, pride in humility, and superiority in being part of an elite Christian social circle.
Screwtape uses psychology to manipulate the patient into replacing the intellect and will in prayer with imagination and emotion. To remind the patient of his childhood prayers is the fist step; it causes him to repel from this way of prayer, and on his own attempt to create a prayerful mood that is spontaneous and inward, and that is void of will and intelligence. Another way is to keep the patients prayers solely focused on himself instead of God, so that when he asks for favors or graces he will develop imaginary emotions to satisfy these requests; replacing intellect and will with imagination and emotion. Furthermore, Screwtape shows how twisting the patient’s object of prayer so that he is praying to it, a crucifix or an icon, instead of God, inconspicuously deletes will and intellect in prayer. Using effective psychology, Screwtape shows how to successfully replace intellect and will in a persons prayer life with imagination and emotion.
Screwtape masterfully makes gluttony of delicacy appear to be harmless, but in reality it is just as sinful, if not worse than, gluttony of excess. In allowing the patient to imagine that he is not being gluttonous by on...


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...ts what is originally good by using false reasoning to subtly encourage gluttony of delicacy, pride in humility, and superiority in being part of an elite Christian social circle, and he uses psychology when directs their prayers to spring from their imagination and emotions instead of their intellect and will. He cleverly uses manipulative behavior to replace the will and intellect in prayer with imagination and emotion. Screwtape subtly makes gluttony of delicacy appear to be a virtue. He also uses subtlety in encouraging pride in humility, and superiority in being part of an elite Christian social circle, to make them seem like virtues. The subtlety and psychology used in C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, awakens the readers awareness of the devil’s relentless struggle to gain possession of the human soul, and enhances the readers desire to remain close to God.

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