To what does the title "The Great Divorce," by C. S. Lewis,  refer?Is it divorce of heaven and hell, good and evil, or both?

2 Answers

ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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 “The Great Divorce,” by C.S. Lewis was published in 1945.  Mr. Lewis informs the reader, in the preface of the novel, that he is intending to “combat the universalist idea that everyone will be saved, in the end.”  The novel is written as an allegory and has been compared to other novels such as Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” 

The premise of the novel is written about characters, who are damned, being transported, on a bus, from Hell to Heaven.  The Narrator tells us that they are given an opportunity to stay in Heaven with God.  However they reject the offer, because they decide they would rather stay in Hell.  As the reader continues on the ride with the travelers, on the bus, we come to see the divorce, in the title, as man’s choice to separate himself from God; to consciously choose evil over good.

lynnebh's profile pic

lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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I agree with the comment below about divorce. If you want to explore this topic further as it relates to the Bible, remember that Malachi 2:16 says that “God hates divorce" because of all the pain it causes and, in Biblical times, how destructive it was to women. God allows for divorce. Even in Biblical times, he allowed it to protect women from the whims of men who could just set them aside when they got bored. Since divorce means "separation", the GREAT divorce is man choosing to separate himself from God, which results in loss of eternal life, in the Christian view.