Out of the Silent Planet

Oyarsa Character Analysis

The specific oyarsa (guardian spirit) of Malacandra and the greatest of the spiritual beings known as eldila, roughly analogous to angels on Earth. Oyarsa appears to Ransom as a being of pure light. Oyarsa is fundamentally good and wise, acting as a liaison between the intelligent inhabitants of Malacandra and the ultimate power in the universe, represented by the Old One and Maleldil. Oyarsa helps Ransom understand the bent nature of humanity and assists Ransom, Weston, and Devine’s mission back to Earth once Oyarsa proclaims Weston and Devine unfit to live in the peaceful utopia of Malacandra.

Oyarsa Quotes in Out of the Silent Planet

The Out of the Silent Planet quotes below are all either spoken by Oyarsa or refer to Oyarsa. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Christian Imagery and Thought  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Out of the Silent Planet published in 2003.
Chapter 11 Quotes

On Malacandra, apparently, three distinct species had reached rationality, and none of them had yet exterminated the other two. It concerned him intensely to find out which was the real master.
"Which of the hnau rule?" he asked.
"Oyarsa rules," was the reply.

Related Characters: Dr. Elwin Ransom (speaker), Lewis (The Narrator) (speaker), Oyarsa
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 13 Quotes

“No,” said Whin. “I have been thinking. All this has come from not obeying the eldil. He said you were to go to Oyarsa. You ought to have been already on the road. You must go now…”

Related Characters: Whin (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom, Hyoi, Oyarsa
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 16 Quotes

They were astonished at what he had to tell them of human history—of war, slavery and prostitution.
"It is because they have no Oyarsa," said one of the pupils.
"It is because every one of them wants to be a little Oyarsa himself," said Augray.
"They cannot help it," said the old sorn. "There must be rule, yet how can creatures rule themselves? Beasts must be ruled by hnau and hnau by eldila and eldila by Maleldil.”

Related Characters: Augray (speaker), Lewis (The Narrator) (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom, Oyarsa
Page Number: 103
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Chapter 18 Quotes

“It was not always so. Once we knew the Oyarsa of your world—he was brighter and greater than I—and then we did not call it Thulcandra. It is the longest of all stories and the bitterest. He became bent. That was before any life came on your world. Those were the Bent Years of which we still speak in the heavens, when he was not yet bound to Thulcandra but free like us. It was in his mind to spoil other worlds besides his own.”

Related Characters: Oyarsa (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom, The Bent One
Page Number: 119-120
Explanation and Analysis:
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They thought I wanted one of your race to eat and went to fetch one. If they had come a few miles to see me I would have received them honourably; now they have twice gone a voyage of millions of miles for nothing and will appear before me none the less. And you also, Ransom of Thulcandra, you have taken many vain troubles to avoid standing where you stand now.

Related Characters: Oyarsa (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom, Dr. Weston, Dick Devine
Page Number: 121
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 20 Quotes

"It is well that I have heard you," said Oyarsa. "For though your mind is feebler, your will is less bent than I thought. It is not for yourself that you would do all this."
"No," said Weston proudly in Malacandrian. "Me die. Man live."

Related Characters: Dr. Weston (speaker), Oyarsa (speaker)
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
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"Trash! Defeatist trash!" he shouted at Oyarsa in English; then, drawing himself up to his full height, he added in Malacandrian, "You say your Maleldil let all go dead. Other one, Bent One, he fight, jump, live—not all talkee-talkee. Me no care Maleldil. Like Bent One better: me on his side."

Related Characters: Dr. Weston (speaker), Oyarsa, The Bent One
Page Number: 139
Explanation and Analysis:
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Oyarsa Character Timeline in Out of the Silent Planet

The timeline below shows where the character Oyarsa appears in Out of the Silent Planet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
Civilization and Utopia Theme Icon
Human Nature and Morality Theme Icon
...simply tells him that the seroni would know, and that Ransom should visit a mysterious Oyarsa to find help and protection from the evil (“bent” in the hrossan language) humans he... (full context)
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Ransom assumes that Oyarsa is the god who created the world, but the hrossa gathered around him laugh and... (full context)
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Human Nature and Morality Theme Icon
...Ransom tries to figure out which species rules Malacandra, but the hrossa only answer that Oyarsa is the ruler. Furthermore, none of the Malacandran species are better or worse, but excel... (full context)
Chapter 12
Christian Imagery and Thought  Theme Icon
...Hyoi responds that the hrossa are speaking to eldila, beings of light that “come from Oyarsa” and who can easily be mistaken for a sunbeam. Hyoi is not sure if human... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...voice tell Hyoi that the Man with them (that is, Ransom himself) must go to Oyarsa to avoid further evil from the other “bent” humans. Whin laments that the eldil has... (full context)
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Acceptance and Curiosity vs. Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...the hrossa should kill all three humans if they are wise. Whin protests that only Oyarsa can kill hnau, and then asks why humans would kill. Ransom explains that humans do... (full context)
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...a place called Augray’s tower, where Augray will help him further. Whin assures Ransom that Oyarsa will not let the bent humans hurt him on his way, but Ransom is not... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Acceptance and Curiosity vs. Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...tries to remember that the hrossa, a kind and gentle species, have absolute faith in Oyarsa, and continues towards his goal. (full context)
Chapter 15
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Ransom asks Augray if the sorn rule the hrossa. Augray answers that Oyarsa rules all the “hnau” of Malacandra, and elaborates that Oyarsa is the greatest of the... (full context)
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Ransom asks Augray why Oyarsa has sent for him. Augray guesses that Oyarsa wants to meet a visitor from a... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Acceptance and Curiosity vs. Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...morning in Augray’s cavern no longer afraid of the sorns, but still hesitant about meeting Oyarsa. Augray offers to carry Ransom to Meldilorn so that Ransom will not risk death on... (full context)
Christian Imagery and Thought  Theme Icon
Acceptance and Curiosity vs. Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...Augray and his friend respond that it is better to remember things, and say that Oyarsa will not let any crucial knowledge be forgotten. (full context)
Chapter 17
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The next morning, Ransom and Augray descend into the handramit where Meldilorn and Oyarsa can be found. They re-enter the atmosphere of Malacandra and Ransom gets down to walk... (full context)
Human Nature and Morality Theme Icon
Acceptance and Curiosity vs. Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...hross as Hrinha, introducing Ransom as a hnau from another planet who must meet with Oyarsa. Ransom gets into the boat and Augray turns to go back to his cavern. Ransom... (full context)
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...boat away, explaining that Ransom is free to do as he wishes in Meldilorn until Oyarsa calls for him. Ransom warns Hrinha that there are two bent humans who may follow... (full context)
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...various hnau cluster around a winged flame figure. Ransom takes the winged flame to be Oyarsa. (full context)
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...the pfifltrigg seems to be creating a portrait of him, all the while muttering about “Oyarsa’s orders.” (full context)
Chapter 18
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...then wakes early the next morning to the voice of an eldil telling him that Oyarsa has requested his presence. Ransom rises obediently and feels nervous, as before an interview, but... (full context)
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All the gathered hnau rise and bow their heads as Oyarsa walks up to the avenue of stones. Ransom has no words to describe the figure... (full context)
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Oyarsa tells Ransom that he was the one who sent the sorns that met Ransom his... (full context)
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Oyarsa explains that Earth was not always cut off from the heavens, but that the oyarsa... (full context)
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Ransom tells Oyarsa that he was kidnapped and brought here by very bent men, full of evil and... (full context)
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Oyarsa has two questions for Ransom: First, why the humans have come to Malacandra, and second,... (full context)
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Oyarsa asks Ransom again for news of the battle on Thulcandra. Ransom cannot answer, unsure if... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Acceptance and Curiosity vs. Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...long bundles are the bodies of dead hrossa. The leader of the hrossa party approaches Oyarsa and explains that the humans killed two of their hrossa in fear while the hrossa... (full context)
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Oyarsa asks Weston and Devine why they have killed hnau. Weston and Devine look around, unable... (full context)
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Oyarsa speaks again, asking Weston why he has killed a hnau. Weston continues to direct his... (full context)
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...has decided is a witch doctor. Weston drapes the necklace over the sleeping hross’s head. Oyarsa asks Ransom quietly if his fellow humans are out of their minds with fear, and... (full context)
Human Nature and Morality Theme Icon
...from a real being that humans cannot see. Ransom tries to get Weston to treat Oyarsa with respect, but Weston believes that Ransom has been brainwashed by the Malacandrians. Weston yells... (full context)
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Oyarsa sees that Weston will not be convinced through calm conversation, and directs one of the... (full context)
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...of eternal sorrow, healing, and the better world to which their fallen friends are traveling. Oyarsa calls forward a pfifltrigg to “scatter” the dead bodies of the three hrossa. The pfifltrigg... (full context)
Chapter 20
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The hross guarding Weston tells Oyarsa that they doused Weston’s head with cold water 14 times and Weston now seems ready... (full context)
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Oyarsa tells Weston to be quiet, and then explains to Weston that it has been Weston’s... (full context)
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Weston tries to yell at the direction from which he hears Oyarsa’s voice like he yelled at the elderly hross. Devine jumps in, explaining in his own... (full context)
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Oyarsa considers Weston’s words, commending him for thinking of future humans rather than just himself. Yet... (full context)
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Oyarsa proclaims Weston “bent,” for Weston still keeps one law of the hnau, unlike Devine who... (full context)
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Oyarsa proclaims that Weston and Devine must leave Malacandra tomorrow. Weston sputters that the timing for... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Weston and Devine are taken to a guest house while Ransom stays to talk with Oyarsa. A mysterious narrator (later shown to be Lewis himself) explains that the contents of this... (full context)
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...rather than suffocating in this small iron box. He finds it hard to trust that Oyarsa’s eldila are protecting him, unable to sense them in any way or believe that these... (full context)
Postscript
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...homeland of the pfifltriggi, on the basis that he “can’t imagine myself explaining it to Oyarsa.” But he does explain that the pfifltriggi live in the craters of Mars, which used... (full context)
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...but simply manipulate the ears of those who “hear” them. Dr. Ransom then mentions that Oyarsa seemed to consider the Earthly notion of “angels” as something different than himself, though it... (full context)