In The Screwtape Letters, what is a good page filled with "ardentia verba"? 

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Page 5 of The Screwtape Letters is filled with "ardentia verba," which means "burning words" or strong language. On this page, Screwtape writes to his nephew, Wormwood, that "I note with grave displeasure that your patient has become a Christian." The words "grave" and "displeasure" are strong. He then goes on to tell Wormwood that he can't "despair" and that many adult converts to Christianity have been "reclaimed" after being in the "enemy's camp," by which he means Christianity. Describing the man's conversion this way involves using strong language. 

Screwtape then goes on to describe the Church as "rooted in eternity," and "terrible with banners." These are also glowing words that describe the strength of the church throughout time--as an army that shows its strength by displaying banners. He refers to the strength of the church as a "spectacle," and then he tells Wormwood that current-day people see the church as a "sham Gothic erection," meaning that the church is a fake parading behind a Gothic veneer. He also compares the parishioners inside the church to grocers with an "oily expression" on their faces. This means that the parishioners themselves appear fake and pained. These are all examples of "ardentia verba," or strong language, that Screwtape uses to convince Wormwood that the hope of claiming his victim for the devil is still alive. 

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