The Great Divorce

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Mountains Symbol Analysis

Mountains Symbol Icon

The mountains that the Narrator witnesses from the Valley of the Shadow of Life symbolize Heaven—the beautiful, majestic home of God, where all human beings are welcome, provided that they learn to love God above all other things.

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Mountains Symbol Timeline in The Great Divorce

The timeline below shows where the symbol Mountains appears in The Great Divorce. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
The Narrator looks up and sees what is either an enormous cloudbank or a mountain range. The object is big and bright, and the Narrator feels “the promise of sunrise”... (full context)
Chapter 8
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
The ghost explains that she’s afraid of going to the mountains without a solid body. She would be embarrassed if she arrived in the mountains without... (full context)
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
...will endure the shame of having no body and go with the Spirit to the mountains. But suddenly, the ghost cries out, “I can't!” The Spirit responds by producing a large... (full context)
Chapter 9
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
...soon enough, but points out that the Spirits have sacrificed their own journeys into the mountains in order to help people move out of Hell and journey to the mountains. He... (full context)
Chapter 11
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...Reginald. Reginald greets the ghost, and explains that Michael, her son, is up in the mountains. The ghost, whom Reginald addresses as Pam, is visibly angry with Reginald. Reginald explains that... (full context)
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...a means to the end of reuniting with Michael. The only way to enter the mountains for good is to love God for God’s own sake. Pam objects that Reginald wouldn’t... (full context)
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
...whisper in the ghost’s ear, the ghost smiles, and begins to walk away from the mountains. (full context)
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...turns and explains to the angel that he won’t be able to go to the mountains while carrying the lizard. He’s told his lizard to keep quiet, but unfortunately, the lizard... (full context)
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...his horse with joy. Then he climbs onto his horse, and rides off toward the mountains. As he rides off, the Spirits sing, praising the new-made man for his strength and... (full context)
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...to the Narrator that the lizard was lust—a creature who has no home in the mountains. With the ghost’s assent, the angel crushed lust and transformed it into something much stronger... (full context)
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Heaven, Hell, and the “Great Divorce” Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...It would seem that the ghost’s lust was less of an obstacle to entering the mountains than Pam’s love for her son. MacDonald explains that Pam loved her son too little,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
Love, Sacrifice, and Sin Theme Icon
...begins to shrink. Sarah begs the Dwarf to “stop acting” and join her in the mountains, but the Dwarf says nothing. (full context)
Dreams, Fantasy, and Education Theme Icon
Christianity and Common Sense Theme Icon
Free Will and Salvation Theme Icon
...I will not go.” With these words, Frank disappears. Sarah continues to walk toward the mountains, joined by her friends the Spirits. The Spirits sing about how nothing can frighten or... (full context)