History Literature / TheGreatDivorce

19th Mar '17 2:32:38 PM DustSnitch
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''The Great Divorce'' is an allegorical book by Creator/CSLewis.

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''The Great Divorce'' is an allegorical book by Creator/CSLewis.
Creator/CSLewis about people choosing Hell over the paradise of Heaven.
29th Jan '17 4:46:31 PM AnonFangeekGirl
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* FlatEarthAtheist: The Apostate Bishop persists in his atheism despite currently being on the outskirts of Heaven.

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* FlatEarthAtheist: The Apostate Bishop persists in his atheism Lewis mentions 'materialist ghosts' who, despite currently being on dead and in the outskirts of Heaven.Christian afterlife, persist in saying that there's no life after death and that everything there is just an elaborate hallucination.
26th Jan '17 12:12:37 PM AnonFangeekGirl
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* TheAloner: Pretty much every resident of Hell, because they can't stop quarreling with their neighbors. Every time someone settles near another person, within a week they've fought so badly that someone decides to move farther out, eventually moving to the outskirts and building a new house.



* TheDeterminator: One Ghost has gone up to heaven to get a 'commodity' to force the damned to stay together. He manages, through a little luck and a lot of pain, to grab hold of a small apple, despite the apples being of Heaven and therefore much more real than he is.



* MundaneAfterlife: Hell is just a rainy twilit town that gives new meaning to "urban sprawl". This is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by some who remark that the one draw of Hell -- the chance to talk to the great sinners of history -- is more or less impossible because of the distance.
* MyBelovedSmother: One of the more heart-wrenching conversations is on this theme. The mother in question mourned her son to the point where she ignored her other children, her husband and God. [=MacDonald=] suspects if the narrator listened to her conversation further, she would try and force her son to come to Hell so she could have him.
* NoSell: None of the arguments used by the Ghosts are effective at convincing the Bright Ones.

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* MundaneAfterlife: Hell is just Hell. It's a rainy twilit town that gives new meaning to "urban sprawl". This is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by some who remark that in constant twilight (some lights are on but not yet welcoming) where it's always raining (and nothing can keep the one draw rain out). There are no 'better parts of Hell -- the chance to talk to the great sinners of history -- is more or less impossible because town'- it's all dingy lodging houses, mean shops, and "bookstores of the distance.
sort that sell ''The Works of Aristotle''." It's also mostly empty since no one can stand anyone else enough to live nearby for long (one ghost says that most people decide to move within a week of settling in one place).
* MyBelovedSmother: One of the more heart-wrenching conversations is on this theme. The mother in question mourned her son to the point where she ignored her other children, her husband and God. [=MacDonald=] suspects if the narrator listened to her conversation further, she would try and force demand that her son to come to Hell hell so that she could have him.
* NoSell: None of the arguments used by Nothing the Ghosts are effective at convincing do can really affect the Bright Ones.Ones. Their arguments don't convince anyone, and any attempts at manipulation (like Frank Smith's attempt to make Sarah pity him) fall flat and end up looking ridiculous.



* TimeStandsStill: Lewis had the idea for the story from a half-remembered story about a time traveller. Nothing the spirits do can effect any real change [[note]]just as nothing the time traveller could do made any difference to the past -- right down to being able to bend a blade of grass or bite into a sandwich[[/note]] -- Hell is always damp and miserable and Heaven is so much 'realer' than the spirits that the grass cuts into their feet instead of bending to them.

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* TimeStandsStill: TimeStandsStill:
**
Lewis had the idea for the story from a half-remembered story about a time traveller. Nothing the spirits do can effect any real change [[note]]just as nothing the time traveller could do made any difference to the past -- right down to being able to bend a blade of grass or bite into a sandwich[[/note]] -- Hell is always damp and miserable and Heaven is so much 'realer' than the spirits that the grass cuts into their feet instead of bending to them.them.
** InUniverse, the narrator notes that time in Hell appears to be frozen at the most dismal point at dusk- there are some lights on, but it's not dark enough for them to be welcoming.



* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: One ghost argues this: It's better to travel hopefully than to arrive. The Bright One returns that if you knew that to be true, you could not travel in hope, because how can you hope to reach an inferior destination?

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* WantingIsBetterThanHaving: One ghost The Apostate Bishop argues this: this. It's better to travel hopefully than to arrive. The Bright One returns that if you knew that to be true, you could not travel in hope, because how can you hope to reach an inferior destination?



* {{Yandere}}: The possessive mother; [=MacDonald=] explains that LoveMakesYouCrazy in Hell, whereas LoveRedeems in Heaven.

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* {{Yandere}}: The possessive mother; Pam is a maternal (rather than romantic) example. She exalts her 'mother-love' for her son Michael and keeps demanding to see him, even as her guide explains that he was taken away for her own good (since her obsession over him caused her to neglect the rest of her family) and that as long as she keeps focusing on how much she wants to be with him, she has no chance of going to Heaven. [=MacDonald=] guesses that she will eventually demand to take him with her to Hell just so she could have him, and explains that LoveMakesYouCrazy in Hell, whereas LoveRedeems in Heaven.Heaven.
* YearOutsideHourInside: Time in Hell works differently than time on Earth, as noted by the bowler-hatted ghost the narrator meets on the bus.
25th Jan '17 8:06:01 PM AnonFangeekGirl
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Added DiffLines:

* ImaginationBasedSuperpower: Ghosts in hell are able to create anything they want just by imagining it, although such items aren't exactly real (houses can't keep out rain, for example).
16th Jan '17 5:02:13 PM AnonFangeekGirl
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* AfterlifeAntechamber: The Grey Town, the center of Hell, is the first place every person goes after their death and from there the person decides where they will spend their death. From there, they can choose to remain in Hell so that they can eternally bicker with their neighbors or board a bus to visit Heaven and decide whether to accept God's invitation into paradise.

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* AfterlifeAntechamber: The Grey Town, Several of the center of Hell, is ghosts mention the first place every person goes after their death and from 'Civic Center', where all new arrivals to the Hell show up. From there the person decides where they will spend their death. From there, they can choose to remain in Hell so that they can eternally bicker with their neighbors or board take a bus up to visit the outskirts of Heaven. They can get to Heaven and decide whether proper from there- providing they're willing to accept God's invitation into paradise.give up their sins.



* CardCarryingVillain: Easier to save than a KnightTemplar or WellIntentionedExtremist. If you know you're evil, you can be converted to good. If you think you're good, it's harder.

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* CardCarryingVillain: Easier They're actually easier to save than a KnightTemplar or WellIntentionedExtremist. If you know you're evil, you can be converted to good. If you think you're good, it's harder.



* FlatEarthAtheist: Quite a few people persist in their atheism even as they move from Hell into Heaven.

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* FlatEarthAtheist: Quite a few people persist The Apostate Bishop persists in their his atheism even as they move from Hell into despite currently being on the outskirts of Heaven.



* GrayRainOfDepression: A constant issue in Hell, especially since everything else there is insubstantial.

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* GrayRainOfDepression: A constant issue in In Hell, especially it's always raining, everywhere. Buildings and houses don't help, since everything else there is they're all insubstantial.



* ParentalNeglect: The Possessive Mother (whose name appears to be Pam) was MyBelovedSmother to her son and utterly neglected the rest of her family, including her other children.



* TheScottishTrope: The damned never speak of Hell as Hell.

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* TheScottishTrope: The damned never speak of Hell as Hell. The Bright Ones are more blunt about the matter, although they acknowledge that if the ghost leaves, then to them it's Purgatory.
2nd Jan '17 1:29:40 PM DustSnitch
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-->If a corpse already liquid with decay had risen from the grave, smeared lipstick on its gums, and attempted a flirtation, the result could not have been more appalling.

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-->If -->''"If a corpse already liquid with decay had risen from the grave, smeared lipstick on its gums, and attempted a flirtation, the result could not have been more appalling."''



* HardLight: "The light, like solid blocks, intolerable of edge and weight, came thundering upon my head."

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* HardLight: "The The sunrise that coincides with the Second Coming produces a light that's more solid than the thin ghosts that inhabit hell, tearing them to pieces.
-->''"The
light, like solid blocks, intolerable of edge and weight, came thundering upon my head.""''



* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Creator/GeorgeMacDonald, Lewis's favorite author, appears as his SpiritAdvisor in heaven. UsefulNotes/{{Napoleon|Bonaparte}} also makes a cameo, and several others are discussed.

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* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Creator/GeorgeMacDonald, Lewis's favorite author, appears as his SpiritAdvisor in heaven. UsefulNotes/{{Napoleon|Bonaparte}} also makes a cameo, cameo in Hell, and several others other historical figures are discussed.



* IgnoredEpiphany: Very many.
* ItIsDehumanizing: After spending some time on the verge of Heaven, the author refers to the shades from Hell as "it" rather than "he" or "she".

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* IgnoredEpiphany: Very many.
The Ghosts in Hell all meet someone in Heaven who directly points out what problems are keeping them from entering Heaven, but despite it being in the Ghosts best interest, many of them plead ignorance and retreat back to the bus from Hell.
* ItIsDehumanizing: After spending some time on the verge of Heaven, Heaven and seeing how small Hell is, the author narrator refers to the shades from Hell as "it" rather than "he" or "she".



* MadeOfIron: Heaven. From the people to the water to the sunlight, everything in Heaven is solider than anything on Earth.
* MadeOfPlasticine: The Ghosts from Hell are barely solid enough to lift apples.

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* MadeOfIron: Everything in Heaven. From the people to the water to the sunlight, everything in Heaven is solider than anything on Earth.
* MadeOfPlasticine: The Ghosts from Hell are barely solid enough to lift apples.apples, and every blade of grass strikes them like a knife.



* MundaneAfterlife: Hell is just a rainy twilit town that gives new meaning to "urban sprawl". This is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by some who remark that the one draw of Hell -- the chance to talk to the great sinners -- is more or less impossible because of the distance.

to:

* MundaneAfterlife: Hell is just a rainy twilit town that gives new meaning to "urban sprawl". This is even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by some who remark that the one draw of Hell -- the chance to talk to the great sinners of history -- is more or less impossible because of the distance.



* {{Pride}}: The number one factor keeping people from accepting grace.

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* {{Pride}}: The number one factor keeping people from accepting grace.grace is their inability to acknowledge their own faults.
2nd Jan '17 1:01:09 PM DustSnitch
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->''"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, '''[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor Thy]] '''[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor will be done.']]"''

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->''"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, '''[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor Thy]] '''[[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor will '''Thy '''will be done.']]"''
'"''
24th Dec '16 2:03:36 PM TheMysteriousTroper
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* MyBelovedSmother: One of the more heart-wrenching conversations is on this theme. The mother in question mourned her son to the point where she ignored her other children, her husband and God. MacDonald suspects if the narrator listened to her conversation further, she would try and force her son to come to Hell so she could have him.

to:

* MyBelovedSmother: One of the more heart-wrenching conversations is on this theme. The mother in question mourned her son to the point where she ignored her other children, her husband and God. MacDonald [=MacDonald=] suspects if the narrator listened to her conversation further, she would try and force her son to come to Hell so she could have him.
25th Nov '16 9:35:42 PM DustSnitch
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* AchillesInHisTent: Name-checked; Creator/GeorgeMacDonald, the narrator's guide through the afterlife, explains why some souls voluntarily choose damnation over salvation:
--> "Ye see it easily enough in a spoiled child that would sooner miss its play and its supper than say it was sorry and be friends. Ye call it the Sulks. But in adult life it has a hundred fine names --Achilles' wrath and Coriolanus' grandeur, Revenge and Injured Merit and Self-Respect and Tragic Greatness and Proper Pride."



* AHellOfATime: The Grey Town doesn't contain the expected sights associated with Hell: devils with pitchforks, sinners being tortured on flaming racks, etc. It's just a depressing, rainy place where constant squabbling causes residents to spread out from everyone else and become TheAloner. However, it's hinted that this is just the antechamber to Hell -- things are about to get much worse once full darkness sets in.

to:

* AfterlifeAntechamber: The Grey Town, the center of Hell, is the first place every person goes after their death and from there the person decides where they will spend their death. From there, they can choose to remain in Hell so that they can eternally bicker with their neighbors or board a bus to visit Heaven and decide whether to accept God's invitation into paradise.
* AHellOfATime: DownplayedTrope. The Grey Town doesn't contain the expected sights associated with Hell: devils with pitchforks, sinners being tortured on flaming racks, etc. It's just a depressing, rainy place where constant squabbling causes residents to spread out from everyone else and become TheAloner. However, it's hinted that this is just the antechamber to Hell -- things are about to get much worse once full darkness sets in.



* AllJustADream: Lewis was careful to hammer the MST3KMantra home in the preface and the last chapter.

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* AllJustADream: Lewis was careful to hammer the MST3KMantra home in the preface and the last chapter.chapter; he makes it very clear that even InUniverse he is just describing someone's vision of what the afterlife may be like, not heretically trying to propose his writing as doctrine.



* AuthorAvatar: The narrator.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: One of the two main points of the story: there is no room for evil or sin ''whatsoever'' in Heaven. Many of the Ghosts refuse to go to Heaven because it will mean giving up their quirks, such as saying mean things to their loved ones.
** The contrapostive of that statement also falls under that trope. ''Everything'' in us can find its fullest and most joyful expression in Heaven, if it will only submit first to God. Specifically seen in the case of the Lizard, which represented a certain Ghost's uncontrollable lust. After the Lizard is killed by an Angel (with the Ghost's permission), the Ghost turns into a Person, and the Lizard is reincarnated as a Stallion, an expression of joyful, holy, physicality.

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* AuthorAvatar: The narrator.
narrator is an English writer just like C.S. Lewis, and he even ends the book by waking up and going to work on a book describing his tale.
* AuthorTract: ''The Great Divorce'' is an allegory reflective of Lewis's Christian beliefs. Specifically, it is about how people must deliberately choose to reject God and happiness, damning themselves to a life of selfishness.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: One of the two main points of the story: there is no room for evil or sin ''whatsoever'' in Heaven. Many of the Ghosts refuse to go to Heaven because it will mean giving up their quirks, such as saying mean things to their loved ones.
**
ones. The contrapostive of that statement also falls under that trope. ''Everything'' in us can find its fullest and most joyful expression in Heaven, if it will only submit first to God. Specifically seen in the case of the Lizard, which represented a certain Ghost's uncontrollable lust. After the Lizard is killed by an Angel (with the Ghost's permission), the Ghost turns into a Person, and the Lizard is reincarnated as a Stallion, an expression of joyful, holy, physicality.



* ConspiracyTheorist: We meet one or two of them.
* DeadToBeginWith: Every human character other than the narrator

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* ConspiracyTheorist: We meet one or two of them.
them who insist that the afterlife they're in is false and that any attempt to invite them to Heaven is a deceptive trick.
* DeadToBeginWith: Every human character other than the narratornarrator is a spirit who's come to Heaven or Hell from death.



* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What sunrise in Heaven will do to Hell and to anyone who's still a ghost.

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* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: What The sunrise in Heaven will do to Hell cause the destruction of the Grey Town (i.e. Hell) and cause terrible pain to fall over the Ghosts who choose to remain there.
* EpiphanicPrison: The Grey Town holds the damned in Hell. They can get out easily; there's a bus leading to the outskirts of Heaven, and
anyone who's still a ghost.nearby can go on it. Once there, they're met by Bright Ones (blessed spirits of people they knew in life) who are there to take them to Heaven. The only thing stopping them from going are their flaws, and their inability to let go of the same.



* ExcessiveMourning: One mother's obsession with her son resulted in this.

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* ExcessiveMourning: One mother's obsession with damned woman was MyBelovedSmother toward her son, and after his death insisted on keeping his room the same and otherwise obsessing over him until her husband and daughter revolted, though they were a loving father and sister. Her brother, as a Bright One, observes that it was not even her dead son resulted in this.dominating their lives, but her wishes.



* FlatEarthAtheist: Quite a few people persist in their atheism even in the afterlife.

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* FlatEarthAtheist: Quite a few people persist in their atheism even in the afterlife.as they move from Hell into Heaven.
7th Oct '16 12:22:59 PM AnonFangeekGirl
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Added DiffLines:

* LargeHam: The Tragedian is very melodramatic in his attempts to get Sarah Smith to feel sorry for him.


Added DiffLines:

* NoSell: None of the arguments used by the Ghosts are effective at convincing the Bright Ones.
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