Identity in a World of a Thousand Faces

The Elusive Elsewhere

In his brilliant work, Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis crafts his own version of the myth of Cupid and Psyche and subtly reflects on identity. The book’s main character, Orual, constantly laments the gods’ cruelty to her, even creating an entire work (Lewis’ book itself is her work) that acts as an account against the gods. Her identity is wrapped up in her bitter cry against the gods and in the loss of her beloved sister.

For those who don’t know the original myth, this link sums it up far better than I could: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/cupid.html.

However, for those looking for a brief description: three daughters are born to a king, the youngest of which is astonishingly beautiful (Psyche). The king sacrifices Psyche on a mountain. The goddess Venus plans to intervene and have her son (Cupid) curse her. Instead, Cupid sees her and falls in love with her (sweet…

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