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* NostalgiaFilter: One of the devils' tools in deceiving humans. Screwtape uses the Patient's mother as an example. She's always complaining about how "Good help is so hard to find these days," when what she's really lamenting for is the time in her youth when she was less critical.

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* NostalgiaFilter: One of the devils' tools in deceiving humans. Screwtape uses the humans.
** The
Patient's mother as an example. She's always complaining about how "Good has been led to believe that her meals aren't satisfying because "good help is so hard to find these days," when what in reality she's really lamenting for just become picker and ObsessedWithFood.
**Screwtape himself
is prone to complaining that sinners ''used'' to be so much tastier, but they're just bland these days.
* ObsessedWithFood: The vice of Gluttony. Atypically, not everyone led to sin by their appetites is a BigEater; delicacy and pickiness work just as well and have
the time in her youth when she was less critical.advantage of looking like virtues. The devils, naturally, are gluttons themselves.

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[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screwtape_letters.PNG]]
[[caption-width-right:350:From One Devil To Another]]


** Hell actually has a division of their research department trying to do this. They haven't made any progress in millennia. According to Screwtape, they've been right on the verge of something big for millenia now. The trouble is that the devils can't understand the concept of freely-given, no-strings-attached love and affection that comes from Heaven, so they'll be forever stuck.
** [[{{God}} The Enemy]] has apparently made it clear to them that if the populace of Hell could begin to understand the concept of "love", then the war against Heaven would be ended. Screwtape misinterprets this as the key to outmaneuvering The Enemy--and thus retaking Heaven ''by force''.

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** Hell actually has a division of their research department trying to do this. They haven't made any progress in millennia. According to Screwtape, they've been right on the verge of something big for millenia now. The trouble is that the devils can't understand the concept of freely-given, no-strings-attached love and affection that comes from Heaven, so they'll be forever stuck.
stuck. It's the diabolic equivalent of ReassignedToAntarctica.
** [[{{God}} The Enemy]] has apparently made it clear to them that if the populace of Hell could begin to understand the concept of "love", then the war against Heaven would be ended. Screwtape misinterprets this as the key to outmaneuvering The Enemy--and thus retaking Heaven ''by force''. Which is why they've got the aforementioned department that isn't succeeding.



* EvilTastesGood: Quite literally. Devils eat souls that go to hell (along with [[YouHaveFailedMe devils who failed in some way]]), and they're something of gourmets about it. The more evil a soul was, the better it tastes, so people who end up in Hell simply by not being good enough are bland (but numerous), while a homicidal maniac or - even better - a hypocritical, treacherous fallen Christian are culinary delights.

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* EvilTastesGood: Quite literally. Devils eat souls that go to hell (along with [[YouHaveFailedMe devils who failed in some way]]), and they're something of gourmets about it. The more evil a soul was, the better it tastes, so people who end up in Hell simply by not being good enough because they weren't Christian are bland (but numerous), bland, petty sinners are poor meals, while a homicidal maniac or - even better - a hypocritical, treacherous fallen Christian are culinary delights.


* ShoutOut: Several, including one to Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw, where Screwtape remembers a comment from Shaw but can't remember how to spell the man's name: "[[TakeThat something like Pshaw]]".

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* ShoutOut: Several, including one to Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw, where Screwtape remembers a comment from Shaw but can't remember how to spell the man's name: "[[TakeThat something like Pshaw]]". (Shaw advocated for English “spelling reform.”)


* TallPoppySyndrome: In "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", Screwtape expounds upon this phenomenon in education, drawing attention to the fact that, in the original story that gave the phenomenon its name, it was a ''dictator'' cutting off heads to insure that his ''subjects'' were all equal. Of course, [[VillainProtagonist Screwtape being a demon]], he thinks this tyranny of the masses is one of the best things to happen in decades. His chilling proposal is that in a democracy, there is no need for a dictator to do it. His tyranny of the masses is as follows: an equivocation of the virtue of equality will confound the belief that all people are equal in rights and dignity with the belief that all people are equal in ability and merit. Those who could excel must then be held back, especially in education, lest the value of equality is broken. Likewise, schoolwork must be made to seem equal, whether learning calculus or finger-painting, so there is "parity of esteem." In the end, those who could excel will purposefully obscure or not develop their talents in order to avoid ostthe Slenderman.

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* TallPoppySyndrome: In "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", Screwtape expounds upon this phenomenon in education, drawing attention to the fact that, in the original story that gave the phenomenon its name, it was a ''dictator'' cutting off heads to insure that his ''subjects'' were all equal. Of course, [[VillainProtagonist Screwtape being a demon]], he thinks this tyranny of the masses is one of the best things to happen in decades. His chilling proposal is that in a democracy, there is no need for a dictator to do it. His tyranny of the masses is as follows: an equivocation of the virtue of equality will confound the belief that all people are equal in rights and dignity with the belief that all people are equal in ability and merit. Those who could excel must then be held back, especially in education, lest the value of equality is broken. Likewise, schoolwork must be made to seem equal, whether learning calculus or finger-painting, so there is "parity of esteem." In the end, those who could excel will purposefully obscure or not develop their talents in order to avoid ostthe Slenderman.ostracism.

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** Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw's idea of a "life force" is mentioned multiple times by Screwtape as an ideal springboard for the devils' plan to create a paradoxical hybrid of materialists and occultists. Shaw is even mentioned by name in Chapter 22.


** In the radio adaption by Focus on the Family, Screwtape is considerably more charismatic than his book counterpart, as he actually has a sense of humor and all of his InsaneTrollLogic rationalizations for God's behavior are downplayed.



* TheHeretic: Screwtape is charged with heresy ''in Hell'' of all places. Ironically, his heretical belief that God really loves his human subjects actually makes him a more efficient tempter.



* ThePeterPrinciple: The skilled tempter Screwtape has been promoted to middle management, where he makes only minimal contributions to the infernal cause while Wormwood and his equally incompetent colleagues are left with the real work.



* TallPoppySyndrome: In "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", Screwtape expounds upon this phenomenon in education, drawing attention to the fact that, in the original story that gave the phenomenon its name, it was a ''dictator'' cutting off heads to insure that his ''subjects'' were all equal. Of course, [[VillainProtagonist Screwtape being a demon]], he thinks this tyranny of the masses is one of the best things to happen in decades. His chilling proposal is that in a democracy, there is no need for a dictator to do it. His tyranny of the masses is as follows: an equivocation of the virtue of equality will confound the belief that all people are equal in rights and dignity with the belief that all people are equal in ability and merit. Those who could excel must then be held back, especially in education, lest the value of equality is broken. Likewise, schoolwork must be made to seem equal, whether learning calculus or finger-painting, so there is "parity of esteem." In the end, those who could excel will purposefully obscure or not develop their talents in order to avoid ostracism.

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* TallPoppySyndrome: In "Screwtape Proposes a Toast", Screwtape expounds upon this phenomenon in education, drawing attention to the fact that, in the original story that gave the phenomenon its name, it was a ''dictator'' cutting off heads to insure that his ''subjects'' were all equal. Of course, [[VillainProtagonist Screwtape being a demon]], he thinks this tyranny of the masses is one of the best things to happen in decades. His chilling proposal is that in a democracy, there is no need for a dictator to do it. His tyranny of the masses is as follows: an equivocation of the virtue of equality will confound the belief that all people are equal in rights and dignity with the belief that all people are equal in ability and merit. Those who could excel must then be held back, especially in education, lest the value of equality is broken. Likewise, schoolwork must be made to seem equal, whether learning calculus or finger-painting, so there is "parity of esteem." In the end, those who could excel will purposefully obscure or not develop their talents in order to avoid ostracism.ostthe Slenderman.


Adaptations of the work include a 2009 audio drama on Family Radio Theatre starring Creator/AndySerkis (Gollum in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy) as the voice for Screwtape, a comic book adaptation by Creator/MarvelComics in 1994, and a stage adaptation by Max [=Mclean=]. 20th Century Fox has held the film rights to the novel since 1950, but despite previous plans to partner with Walden Media to make a live action film adaptation with a 2008 release date, the project is currently in DevelopmentHell. (It's perhaps worth noting that Lewis himself considered the book inherently unstageable and unfilmable, and once advised a playwright who wanted to adapt the book to go ahead and write his own story leaving Screwtape out of it!)

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Adaptations of the work include a 2009 audio drama on Family Radio Theatre starring Creator/AndySerkis (Gollum in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' trilogy) as the voice for Screwtape, a comic book adaptation by Creator/MarvelComics in 1994, and a stage adaptation by Max [=Mclean=]. 20th Century Fox has held the film rights to the novel since 1950, but despite previous plans to partner with Walden Media to make a live action film adaptation with a 2008 release date, the project is currently in DevelopmentHell. (It's perhaps worth noting that Lewis himself considered the book inherently unstageable and unfilmable, and once advised a playwright who wanted to adapt the book with a framing device to go ahead and write his make the framing device into its own story play, leaving Screwtape out of it!)



* InWithTheInCrowd: Wormwood gets the patient caught in this for a while by introducing him to supposedly "cool" evil people, but botches it and the trope plays out fully, complete with AnAesop.

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* InWithTheInCrowd: Wormwood gets the patient caught in this for a while by introducing him to supposedly "cool" evil worldly people, but botches it and the trope plays out fully, complete with AnAesop.


* JustJokingJustification: Screwtape mentions that a good way to tempt a person to be a {{jerkass}} is the realization that people often think cruel behavior is funny [[RefugeInAudacity if you present it cleverly enough.]]

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* JustJokingJustification: JustJokingJustification:
**
Screwtape mentions that a good way to tempt a person to be a {{jerkass}} is the realization that people often think cruel behavior is funny [[RefugeInAudacity if you present it cleverly enough.]]]]
** At another point Screwtape does it himself, saying that when he spoke against Slubgob in one of his previous letters, it was meant purely as a joke.


** It's also implied they ''[[InvoluntaryShapeshifting must]]'' take different forms from time to time, and that emotion instigates the process, resulting in a CrowningMomentOfFunny when Screwtape has to dictate the end of one letter, his anger having transformed him into a giant centipede.

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** It's also implied they ''[[InvoluntaryShapeshifting must]]'' take different forms from time to time, and that emotion instigates the process, resulting in a CrowningMomentOfFunny SugarWiki/{{Funny Moment|s}} when Screwtape has to dictate the end of one letter, his anger having transformed him into a giant centipede.

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* DirtyCoward: Discussed. Screwtape mentions that cowardice is the only sin Hell has never succeeded at turning into a source of pride for humans.


* AnachronicOrder: The letters are stated in the prologue to be written in this fashion, and Screwtape alludes to the Patient having been in his fiancee's house for "only five years."

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* AnachronicOrder: The letters are stated in the prologue to be written in this fashion, and Screwtape alludes to the Patient having been in his fiancee's house for "only five years." fashion.


* VillainousUnderdog: Zigzaged. Screwtape certainly considers Hell to be the underdog (though he doesn't see it as villainous) and rants at length about the "unfair" advantage Heaven has. Certainly you'd think that going up against [[TheOmnipotent an omnipotent]] being would make you the underdog in itself, to say nothing of all the problems Hell causes for itself by being StupidEvil. However, Hell also seems to be controlling every single aspect of human society except for the [[SaintlyChurch Church]] (and even there it's made great inroads by creating factionalism, fanaticism and strife), and as a result most are going to Hell these days. It's possible that Screwtape's whining is due to the fact that EvilIsPetty, meaning that no matter how well things are going for Screwtape he's always going to feel sorry for himself because it's not going ''even better'', in which case this trope is subverted. Or conversely, he might just be exaggerating Hell's successes [[UnreliableNarrator for propaganda purposes.]]

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* VillainousUnderdog: Zigzaged.Zigzagged. Screwtape certainly considers Hell to be the underdog (though he doesn't see it as villainous) and rants at length about the "unfair" advantage Heaven has. Certainly you'd think that going up against [[TheOmnipotent an omnipotent]] being would make you the underdog in itself, to say nothing of all the problems Hell causes for itself by being StupidEvil. However, Hell also seems to be controlling every single aspect of human society except for the [[SaintlyChurch Church]] (and even there it's made great inroads by creating factionalism, fanaticism and strife), and as a result most are going to Hell these days. It's possible that Screwtape's whining is due to the fact that EvilIsPetty, meaning that no matter how well things are going for Screwtape he's always going to feel sorry for himself because it's not going ''even better'', in which case this trope is subverted. Or conversely, he might just be exaggerating Hell's successes [[UnreliableNarrator for propaganda purposes.]]


* NostalgiaFilter: One of the devils' tools in deceiving humans. Screwtape uses the Patient's mother as an example. She's always complaining about how, "Good help is so hard to find these days," when what she's really lamenting for is the time in her youth when she was less critical.

to:

* NostalgiaFilter: One of the devils' tools in deceiving humans. Screwtape uses the Patient's mother as an example. She's always complaining about how, how "Good help is so hard to find these days," when what she's really lamenting for is the time in her youth when she was less critical.


* NamedByTheAdaptation: In the audio drama, The Patient is named John Hamilton. John probably comes from the main character of ''Literature/ThePilgrimsRegress'', Lewis’ first book after his conversion; Hamilton probably comes from “Clive Hamilton” a PenName Lewis once used.

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* NamedByTheAdaptation: In the audio drama, The Patient is named John Hamilton. John probably comes from the main character of ''Literature/ThePilgrimsRegress'', Lewis’ first book after his conversion; Hamilton probably comes from “Clive Hamilton” Hamilton”, a PenName that Lewis once used.

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