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Evil is what you let it be The Screwtape letters is a sly and ironic portrayal of human life from the vantage point of Screwtape a highly placed assistant in the hierarchy of Hell At once wildly comic deadly serious and strikingly original CS Lewis gives us the correspondence of a worldly-wise old devil to his nephew Wormwood a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man The letters tell the tale of deadly temptation and the road to sin yet are also an uplifting account of human virtue and its ability to overcome Evil Screwtape is an able and wise Tempter He tells us of some of his past patients and on a wider scale the plan of action of Our Father Bellow He incorporates in his stories or letters the great philosophical shifts that have occurred in the past century how they were influenced by the great devils and how they might help Wormwood save his patient These influences cited are given from a purely demonic perspective and yet they reveal the depth of the authors understanding of human emotion and temptation Wormwoods patient appears to the reader to be the most average of men It is possible that this is done by the author in an attempt to make the reader empathize and associate with the patient By creating such a bond the author brings the reader through the path of his won mind and lets him reflect upon his own ungodliness Yet with our own sins and temptations in mind we are shown how to avoid them and how not to fall in the subtle and delicate traps laid down by the Devils The greatest success of the tempters and of those in the lower hierarchy occurred in an early nineteenth century development called Democracy a term which at its essence is a simple definition of a political system Screwtape describes to
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