Out of the Silent Planet

by C. S. Lewis

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What are some of Ransom's major characteristics or personality traits in Out of the Silent Planet?

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As Thanatassa has already said, Ransom is a scholar and philologist, and language tends to play a major theme in how Out of the Silent Planet unfolds. At the same time, I think he is representative of human beings in general, and that his adventures and the personal growth he experiences on Mars mirrors Lewis's theological ideas concerning the role of faith and spirituality in moral development and self fulfillment. In the beginning of the book, Ransom is characterized as out of his depth and fearful, not just of his captors, but also of the denizens of Mars. As he is thrown into the world, however, and proceeds to associate with and learn from the various hnau he encounters, he gains an appreciation and admiration for them, and ultimately starts to see the universe much in the same way they do (which of course means in a way that reflects Lewis's Christian outlook).

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Out of the Silent Planet was written by C. S. Lewis as a Christian allegory. Ransom, like Lewis himself, was a philologist who taught at Cambridge University. He functions as an "everyman" character, morally located between the pure evil of Weston and Devine and the pure good of the eldila. Ransom, like the Christian, is a fallen character who belongs to Thulcandra, but who can nonetheless percieve and understand Oyarsa.

In his profession as a philologist, Ransom is a translator. That enables him to make the words and ideas of Thulcandra comprehensible to those of Malacandra and vice versa. His nature is neither purely fallen nor unfallen, but like post-Adamic humanity, "simul iustus et peccator" (both righteous and sinner), both part of a world fallen into original sin and yet made in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus.

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