“Hell’s Greater Triumphs”

My dear Wormwood,

You mustn’t ask those sorts of questions. If you entertain faulty notions within your own little mind, just imagine how much greater those notions would reflect on the mind of your patient.

“If they are so eager to exterminate each other, why should we intervene at all?”

Firstly, I would have you recall that the humans’ eagerness is a direct result of centuries-worth of painful labor on our part. We started by introducing a sense of general unhappiness into human lives where the vermin ordinarily found such a disgusting sense of joy. We then began to push further the already-present human instinct to elevate one’s own needs over all else. That instinct, nephew, is one of the easily apparent symptoms of Our Father Below’s first fateful touch on primordial humanity so long ago.

The result was inevitably the general hive-mentality that children ultimately bring responsibility into human lives. I will take a moment here, dear nephew, to momentarily reflect on one of Hell’s greater triumphs over the human psyche in recent years. By conditioning humans to never cease thinking of themselves as children, we have created a multitude of fissures for the human race, which previously only children were naïve or immature enough to plunge into. To necessitate such a change we altered both the physical and mental interpretations of an adult in general culture.

A laxity in parental discipline throughout the entirety of a human child’s home life has introduced a general refusal to mature that now stays with human beings throughout their entire lives. This phenomenon is quite evident if you were ever to take a moment to listen in on the average work-or-schoolplace conversation in the world. A human’s inability to either register or care for one person’s words and experiences, and an all-consuming, overpowering need to twist the conversation until the listener is again the talker, is so petty and delectable to the ears of any respectable hellion. Then there is the laughably evident readiness, even eagerness, to take offense at the slightest perceived wrong; the bellicosity behind every gesture and underneath every sentence.

We have coupled this with suffusing into popular culture an attraction to what is ultimately the physique and mindset of a prepubescent boy, a damning combination now strived after by men and women alike, and which is utterly impossible to attain after twelve years of age. The result is a profound abhorrence in the minds of humans at the symptoms of adulthood. This renders any thought or inclination toward responsibility effectively neutralized.

And so, women are hurling themselves every which way out of the path of responsibility. Especially that awful responsibility, that atrophies their bodies, destroys their careers, that burns checkbooks and shatters intimacy, that is motherhood. They think (never overtly) something like this: If only women can fly from the burden of a child until they cross the safe threshold of menopause– or until such a time as we let them decide they will make ready mothers– then they will be successful and happy for the wispy remainder of their mortal lives. We seeded their irresponsibility, now we simply provide mortals with the tools to maintain it.

You know the tool of which I speak.

Your affectionate uncle,

Screwtape

 

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4 thoughts on ““Hell’s Greater Triumphs”

  1. lianakawczak says:

    I liked all of your strong vocabulary words!
    I noticed that you include a lot of hyphens and use them well.
    I wondered who Screwtape and Wormwood are.
    I would suggest interpreting it for the ” vocabulary-challenged.”
    Strong words or phrases would be intimacy, laxity, and primordial.

  2. I liked the serious tone you used and like liana said all of your strong vocabulary words.
    I noticed that you wrote like screwtape again this year and you really did a great job doing it.
    I know this is lame but the only thing I wondered while reading this is how are you such an amazing writer?
    I would suggest uh…..
    strong words and phrases,”A laxity in parental discipline throughout the entirety of a human child’s home life.”

  3. I liked that your story had a critical/serious tone
    I noticed you used a lot of strong vocabulary words
    I wondered why you chose Screwtape to write the letter
    I seriously can’t find anything to suggest.
    strong words/phrases “If they are so eager to exterminate each other why should we intervene at all?”

  4. As one who’s also worn this voice I can tell you I’m overwhelmed. You show a maturity (through your reasoning) that stuns. It’s presented in language that is not just dazzling, but true to Screwtape form. Beyond that, you never mention the word: abortion, but you so deftly address its roots: selfishness. The idea that people never really grow up is so well addressed here, I wish I’d written it myself. Honestly, I have only praise. What I consider your coup de gras is the paragraph in which you tell the price of motherhood, and particularly this quote: “If only women can fly from the burden of a child until they cross the safe threshold of menopause– or until such a time as we let them decide they will make ready mothers– then they will be successful and happy for the wispy remainder of their mortal lives.”
    “Fly from the burden” – how you’ve caught the sentiment of our culture, and weaved it seemlessly with scriptural truth in the word “wispy” to describe our lives.

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