Considering it tries to switch the Order Versus Chaos status to make the Hell side into an archontic pastiche, when the exact opposite happens in the Bible.
- That's exactly what the inhabitants of Hell would want you to think.
- So this patient lives in war-time England, wrestles with what to believe, and falls in love with a devoutly Christian lady? Except for the "dying from a bomb" part at the end, that's pretty much C.S. Lewis' life story.
- But...he's not dead.
- Also, Jane did not start out as a devout Christian.
- From the preface: "Readers are advised to remember that the Devil is a liar. Not everything Screwtape says should be assumed to be true, even from his own angle." Screwtape says that he can't possibly understand love, but this is because he's reneging on repeated previous passages in which he's already quite explicitly acknowledged its existence. A fun little game is to spot every instance of Screwtape contradicting himself. Some of them may not be easy to catch on a first reading, but for example, pay close attention to all his uses of the term "life-force".
- It's pretty obvious that Screwtape is worried about other devils reading his mail. At one point, he warns Wormwood rather urgently to keep them secret, and offers in return to cover for Wormwood in the event of any trouble related to their correspondence; this, of course, is immediately forgotten when Wormwood tries to use passages from the letters to get his uncle investigated for heresy. If so, Screwtape will not publicly admit to knowing anything that could get him in trouble. He may be explicitly denying that he understands love for this reason.
- The devils have a motivation for refusing to admit their status as God's creations. If their Father Below were God's contemporary, or at least in some other way His equal, they might actually stand a chance of beating Him — so that is what they choose to believe.
- This would further make sense given what we know (or are told) of how devils operate. Sex is considered a good pleasure by The Enemy, and therefore something devils would not or could not engage in (assuming the angels they presumably were had some kind of equivalent form of reproduction). It makes sense that devils would prefer a particularly violent form of increasing their numbers. Dividing rather than multiplying.
- C.S. Lewis said in a foreward that Devils, without bodies to impede them, their spiritual cannibalism is a complete form of consumption taking the whole of the poor soul within them. What Satan seeks is to consume all of creation.
- Lewis stated that he's unwilling to share information how he got his hands on the letters, but did state in the foreword that it was easy to do so—so he did know how he got the letters. That said, somehow convincing Wormwood to give them up as an act of revenge may have been how he did it. It would stand to reason, given his refusal to divulge how he did it: any kind of Deal with the Devil, even if it was "Give me dirt on your enemies in hell, and I'll use it against them," would be extremely dangerous, so it would be a very good reason not to tell the public about it.
- How is this a wild guess? It's stated in the book that devils constantly seek to devour each other as well as human souls.
- This might well be the process of hellish postgraduate education. A senior devil acts as an Unreliable Expositor, setting his protégé to fail, and the junior devil, if he's skilled enough, sees through the bad advice, succeeds anyway and may even topple the senior devil in the process.
Going along with the theme of, Hell can only pervert good things, not actually make any, and that Existence is generally used as one of the above "good things" in CS Lewis's works, Devils can only exist by consuming other existences. In essence, they have rejected God, who is the ultimate provider and creator of existence itself. In doing so, they are cut off from the source of existence and, unless they parasitically feed off another creation (aka Man) they will cease to exist themselves eventually. This is also why they probably eat each other too. Knowing Screwtape, if broached on the subject, he likely would whine and complain about "The Enemy" being so "selfish," and then switch gears into grousing that their Father Below was "wise and correct" to reject such a disgusting and stupid thing.