C. S. Lewis

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Themes and Colors
Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan Theme Icon
Fear, Adventure, and Will Theme Icon
Innocence and Incorruption Theme Icon
Temptation and the Nature of Evil Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Perelandra, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Exploration, Wonder, and God’s Plan

In Perelandra, the second of C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy series, philologist Elwin Ransom is sent to the planet of Perelandra, or Venus, for unknown reasons. While there, Ransom delights in the wonder of this unexplored, uncorrupted planet. His attitude toward Perelandra—and indeed toward reality as a whole—contrasts with that of Professor Weston, the novel’s antagonist, who arrives on Perelandra after Ransom does. As the novel unfolds, Weston reveals his desire to…

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Fear, Adventure, and Will

In Perelandra, Ransom finds himself the unwitting redeemer of a world at risk of satanic corruption. During his quest, Ransom must reconcile his very real fears with his earnest desire to please God; he also learns that Perelandra’s inhabitants, like the Green Lady, obey God fearlessly because their wills are already so perfectly aligned with God’s. As he learns to embody a similar obedience, Ransom discovers that, as one’s will harmonizes with…

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Innocence and Incorruption

When Ransom arrives on Perelandra, part of the planet’s beauty, and indeed its foreignness, consists in the fact that it’s untouched by sin, suffering, or death. Unlike Earth, it’s never been corrupted by those intrusive things which are outside of God’s (Maleldil’s) original intention for the universe. Even Ransom, himself a sinful human being, finds that Perelandra’s sheer purity has a purifying effect on his own appetites, and when he meets the…

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Temptation and the Nature of Evil

Ransom eventually learns that he’s been sent to Perelandra in order to thwart the satanically corrupted Weston—or, as Ransom calls him, the “Un-man”—from tempting the planet’s King and Queen into sin. In other words, Perelandra has not yet experienced a Fall like that depicted in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis. In the Bible, the serpent tempts Eve into wanting to attain the knowledge of good and evil and thus become more like God…

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