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Discussion guide for Out of the Silent Planet/C.S. Lewis space trilogy


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Normally I just lead a Socratic discussion of books I read aloud but I feel like I might need a little more help with this one. Can someone make a suggestion of a good one they referenced? I wasn't planning on having the kids do any written work, but I did see 7sisters homeschool produces a type of study guide.  If that is worth paying for even without using most of it, I would appreciate that input.  Thank you.

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7 Sisters is the only complete one I turned up. A few places had only the first two. The 7 Sisters samples look okay and the set is inexpensive. I'm likely to get this one just because I can't find anything I like better. 🤷‍♀️ We'd do the questions as discussion rather than written work, probably skipping all the basic comprehension questions. 

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4 minutes ago, blue plaid said:

Not sure if this will suit at all, but I found that the long list of essay questions included here provided insight and lots of interesting topics for discussion:

https://www.rcwalton.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Out-of-the-Silent-Planet.pdf

 

Oooh he has all three of the Space Trilogy; scroll down to Lewis. https://www.rcwalton.com/notes-on-classic-literature/pdf-classic-literature-notes-by-author/ 

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57 minutes ago, SilverMoon said:

7 Sisters is the only complete one I turned up. A few places had only the first two. The 7 Sisters samples look okay and the set is inexpensive. I'm likely to get this one just because I can't find anything I like better. 🤷‍♀️ We'd do the questions as discussion rather than written work, probably skipping all the basic comprehension questions. 

Same here. Usually when I do a read aloud, we just have a Socratic discussion and I write down some notes on our story chart. 

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Progeny Press has a guide for those first 2 of the 3 space trilogy books, but they seemed very weak and not very helpful to me. We never ended up using them, or even any parts of them.

Cory Olson of Mythgard (who has done great audio lectures on The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and others), started a podcast series on Out of the Silent Planet this past January. See those discussions here.

Not questions, but these three long analysis essays are meaty, and might act as a springboard for your discussions:
Chronicles of Heaven Unshackled (Peter Lowman)
Out of the Silent Planet 
- Voyage to Venus (Perelandra)
- That Hideous Strength

________________

ETA:
And totally beyond the scope of what you're looking for, but I enjoyed the book Planet Narnia (Ward), in which the author argues that Lewis had a medieval cosmology view (certain planets representing certain traits/personalities) embedded in his works, that comes out overtly but imperfectly in the space trilogy, and is hidden subtly and perfectly in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Edited by Lori D.
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  • 2 months later...

Me again. I was going to stop after the 2nd book but my oldest wanted me to continue. There are so many allusions in Chapter 2 that I don't know enough about to understand. Does anyone have a useful spark notes type thing for this book?  It's This Hideous Strength.

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17 hours ago, cintinative said:

Me again. I was going to stop after the 2nd book but my oldest wanted me to continue. There are so many allusions in Chapter 2 that I don't know enough about to understand. Does anyone have a useful spark notes type thing for this book?  It's This Hideous Strength.

Maybe this?
"Quotations & Allusions in C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength" -- and here is the same thing as a pdf

Edited by Lori D.
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7 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Thank you so much! Maybe I can figure this thing out!  😃

I wish I was in the right place time-wise to "book club" this one with you, as it is very dense. I did this the space trilogy with my DSs when they were in late high school, and this 3rd book had a LOT of "mom-stop-and-explain" to it. 😉 However, once you get about 100 pages or so into it, the tension of the plot sort of takes over, and the confusions fade to the background. 

Lewis' portrayal of evil in the last part of the book is so (appropriately) nasty and repulsive -- it really drives home that evil IS evil. The only other thing I've read that reveals evil AS really repulsively evil has been in some of the Charles Williams' novels. Williams was briefly part of the CS Lewis/JRR Tolkien + others "Inklings" group, and Lewis was very admiring of Williams' work. I see some strong influences from Williams on Lewis in  That Hideous Strength.

Williams is even MORE dense with allusions, but several of his "Christian supernatural thriller" novels are really worthwhile -- Descent into Hell is amazing. And All Hallow's Eve is also really well-done. War in Heaven is probably the easiest to "get". His other 4 novels -- while each has a moment or two that is an amazing "ripping away the veil between the natural and spiritual worlds"-- are weak and have some icky racial stereotypes, so I don't tend to recommend those.

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50 minutes ago, cintinative said:

@Lori D.to be honest I wanted to wait for this third book and cover it later in high school. My youngest is only in 8th grade.  But my oldest really wanted me to keep going.  I wish we could do it as a book club with you!  😃

Hope you guys enjoy it! Hang in there -- I do think it picks up and gets easier after awhile. 😉 And -- I would love doing a book club with you guys! Maybe a future year... 😄 

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I have a really old OOP book on the triliogy.  It isn't a perfect resource, but it does give background info on cosmology and Arthurian legend that influenced Lewis that I did not understand and would have missed.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/102552.A_Guide_Through_C_S_Lewis_Space_Trilogy

Edited by 8filltheheart
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On 12/19/2020 at 12:12 PM, Lori D. said:

Hope you guys enjoy it! Hang in there -- I do think it picks up and gets easier after awhile. 😉 And -- I would love doing a book club with you guys! Maybe a future year... 😄 

I want to do this too, Lori D! A WTM group would be SO fun!

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On 12/20/2020 at 4:44 AM, ScoutTN said:

Roman Roads has a new study guide to the space trilogy. It's called Deeper Heaven, I think. Comes with a cool postcard map of Lewis' cosmos. 

I was coming on here to mention this. It looks really good.

 

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