Out of the Silent Planet

by C. S. Lewis

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What is strange about the rooms at The Rise in Out of the Silent Planet?

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Early in Out of the Silent Planet, Ransom—the protagonist—happens upon a house known as "The Rise" during his backpacking vacation. Once he enters the house, he is left alone in a room for a while. He notices that the room is very strange.

According to author C. S. Lewis, what puzzles him most is that the room is decorated with "a strange mixture of luxury and squalor." For instance, the room contains several extremely expensive armchairs, as well as trash from expensive snacks such as champagne and oysters, as well as cigars. Despite this evidence of wealth, the room also exhibits evidence of poverty. The floor does not have a carpet, and there are newspapers thrown haphazardly about. Moreover, there are a variety of very cheap foods intermixed with the expensive foodstuffs described above. It strikes Ransom as odd that the inhabitants of The Rise would live such a dichotomous lifestyle. If they can afford luxury items, why also buy cheap ones and allow the rooms to look trashy?

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