Perelandra

by

C. S. Lewis

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Perelandra, or the planet Venus, is the perfectly innocent planet where the bulk of the novel takes place. Ransom is meant to save the planet from corruption by keeping Weston from tempting the Green Lady into disobeying Maleldil (God) and thus bringing sin to the planet.

Perelandra Quotes in Perelandra

The Perelandra quotes below are all either spoken by Perelandra or refer to Perelandra. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Perelandra published in 2003.
Chapter 2 Quotes

"Do you feel quite happy about it?" said I, for a sort of horror was beginning once more to creep over me.

"If you mean, Does my reason accept the view that he will (accidents apart) deliver me safe on the surface of Perelandra?—the answer is Yes," said Ransom. "If you mean, Do my nerves and my imagination respond to this view?—I'm afraid the answer is No. One can believe in anæsthetics and yet feel in a panic when they actually put the mask over your face. I think I feel as a man who believes in the future life feels when he is taken out to face a firing party. Perhaps it's good practice."

Related Characters: Dr. Elwin Ransom (speaker), Lewis (speaker)
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

He had confidence in those who had sent him there, and for the meantime the coolness of the water and the freedom of his limbs were still a novelty and a delight; but more than all these was something else at which I have already hinted and which can hardly be put into words—the strange sense of excessive pleasure which seemed somehow to be communicated to him through all his senses at once. I use the word "excessive" because Ransom himself could only describe it by saying that for his first few days on Perelandra he was haunted, not by a feeling of guilt, but by surprise that he had no such feeling. There was an exuberance or prodigality of sweetness about the mere act of living which our race finds it difficult not to associate with forbidden and extravagant actions.

Related Characters: Lewis (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

[…] Ransom had as yet seen nothing dead or spoiled in Perelandra, and it was like a blow in the face. […] It was irrevocable. The milk-warm wind blowing over the golden sea, the blues and silvers and greens of the floating garden, the sky itself—all these had become, in one instant, merely the illuminated margin of a book whose text was the struggling little horror at his feet, and he himself, in that same instant, had passed into a state of emotion which he could neither control nor understand. […] It was not merely pity for pain that had suddenly changed the rhythm of his heart-beats. The thing was an intolerable obscenity which afflicted him with shame.

Related Characters: Lewis (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

Gender is a reality, and a more fundamental reality than sex. Sex is, in fact, merely the adaptation to organic life of a fundamental polarity which divides all created beings. Female sex is simply one of the things that have feminine gender; there are many others, and Masculine and Feminine meet us on planes of reality where male and female would be simply meaningless. […] Their reproductive functions, their differences in strength and size, partly exhibit, but partly also confuse and misrepresent, the real polarity. All this Ransom saw, as it were, with his own eyes. The two white creatures were sexless. But he of Malacandra was masculine (not male); she of Perelandra was feminine (not female).

Related Characters: Lewis (speaker), Dr. Elwin Ransom
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:
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Perelandra Term Timeline in Perelandra

The timeline below shows where the term Perelandra appears in Perelandra. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...to Malacandra, though he’d give anything  to see it again. Instead he’s being sent to Perelandra, or the planet Venus. He reminds Lewis that the Oyarsa of Malacandra had hinted that... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
...language, the old common speech of the solar system. Otherwise, he knows very little about Perelandra—just that it’s hot (he’ll be naked for the duration of his trip), and that details... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
...await his return and unpack him. The Oyarsa of Malacandra will propel the coffin to Perelandra—Ransom doesn’t know how exactly. Lewis feels frightened again, and Ransom agrees that although he believes,... (full context)
Chapter 3
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Ransom never says much about his journey to Perelandra, only revealing that his experiences were not too vague for words, but rather too definite... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...need—it would be “like asking to hear the same symphony twice in a day.” As Perelandra settles into an impenetrable darkness, Ransom falls into a comfortable sleep. (full context)
Chapter 5
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Ransom asks the Green Lady what she knows of other worlds, since Perelandra’s sky is so dense that other planets can’t be seen from here. At this, the... (full context)
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
...Mother of his world is dead. The Lady wonders if Ransom has been sent to Perelandra in order to teach her what death means. Ransom tries to explain that death is... (full context)
Chapter 6
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
Ransom realizes this is why he was sent to Perelandra. Weston failed to achieve his goals on Malacandra, so he’s trying again here. Ransom wonders... (full context)
Chapter 8
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...day, Ransom wakes up feeling sore and out of sorts, unlike every previous morning on Perelandra. He looks around for Weston, and it gradually dawns on Ransom that Weston, despite his... (full context)
Chapter 9
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...it can no longer hop. It’s the first time Ransom has witnessed any suffering on Perelandra, and it shocks him. He is filled with pity and also with a feeling of... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...to find the Lady—he now knows that some demonic or even satanic being has invaded Perelandra through Weston. After hours of walking, he sees two figures on the horizon. As he... (full context)
Chapter 11
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...it seems, he realizes that he is Maleldil’s representative. In other words, his coming to Perelandra at this time is itself a miracle. (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...belief that as long as he does his best, Maleldil will work out the final result—Perelandra’s fate, in other words, is in God’s hands. But just as quickly, Maleldil’s presence weighs... (full context)
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...but just as quickly, he reconsiders. He knows that whatever the conflict involves here on Perelandra, it might be of the character that people on Earth would call “mythological.” (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...far more complicated than he knew. One of its purposes was the future salvation of Perelandra—and somehow, he was the person chosen through whom Maleldil would do the saving. Looked at... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Already, what’s happened on Perelandra is different from what happened on Earth. For one thing, unlike Eve, the Lady has... (full context)
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
...possibly defeat an immortal enemy. He figures that Weston’s body is the Enemy’s foothold in Perelandra, and if that body is destroyed, then the Enemy will be expelled. The thought is... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Ransom comes to understand that, if he fails in his task, Maleldil will redeem Perelandra in some other way. Yet it won’t happen exactly as it did on Earth; Maleldil... (full context)
Chapter 12
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...will be the last time. Then he goes in search of his Enemy. Most of Perelandra’s creatures appear to have been cast into a deep sleep, but when he finally encounters... (full context)
Chapter 13
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...it dawns on him just how long the chase is taking and how very vast Perelandra is. Some of the fish are even getting tired and giving up their pursuit. The... (full context)
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
...where he is and fears being left here alone. Ransom assures him that dying on Perelandra is better than many fates that could befall them on Earth. (full context)
Chapter 16
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
The King and Queen of Perelandra are climbing up the mountain even now, so the eldila—who have come to do them... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
All the beasts of Perelandra have entered the valley by this time, making a great noise—presided over by four of... (full context)
Chapter 17
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Ransom is so lost in wonder that he almost misses what the Oyarsa of Perelandra is saying. The Oyarsa grants all of Perelandra and its creatures into the keeping of... (full context)
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
...a place dedicated to the splendor of Maleldil. He and the Queen, Tinidril, will fill Perelandra with their children, ennoble the beasts by teaching them, and someday tear the curtain of... (full context)