The Abolition of Man

by

C. S. Lewis

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Gaius and Titius Character Analysis

Gaius and Titius are pseudonyms which C. S. Lewis supplies to mask the identities of Alec King and Martin Ketley, authors of the 1939 textbook, The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing, which Lewis refers to as The Green Book and critiques in The Abolition of Man. Lewis argues that because Gaius and Titius do not believe in objective value, they inadvertently impart harmful philosophies to the English students who use their textbooks.

Gaius and Titius Quotes in The Abolition of Man

The The Abolition of Man quotes below are all either spoken by Gaius and Titius or refer to Gaius and Titius. 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:
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperOne edition of The Abolition of Man published in 2015.
Chapter 1 Quotes

He will have no notion that there are two ways of being immune to such an advertisement—that it falls equally flat on those who are above it and those who are below it, on the man of real sensibility and on the mere trousered ape who has never been able to conceive the Atlantic as anything more than so many million tons of cold salt water. […] None of this is brought before the schoolboy’s mind. On the contrary, he is encouraged to reject the lure of the ‘Western Ocean’ on the very dangerous ground that in so doing he will prove himself a knowing fellow who can’t be bubbled out of his cash. Gaius and Titius, while teaching him nothing about letters, have cut out of his soul, long before he is old enough to choose, the possibility of having certain experiences which thinkers of more authority than they have held to be generous, fruitful, and humane.

Related Characters: C. S. Lewis (speaker), Gaius and Titius
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.

Related Characters: C. S. Lewis (speaker), Gaius and Titius
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:

This conception in all its forms, Platonic, Aristotelian, Stoic, Christian, and Oriental alike, I shall henceforth refer to for brevity simply as ‘the Tao.’ Some of the accounts of it which I have quoted will seem, perhaps, to many of you merely quaint or even magical. But what is common to them all is something we cannot neglect. It is the doctrine of objective value, the belief that certain attitudes are really true, and others really false, to the kind of thing the universe is and the kind of things we are.

Related Characters: C. S. Lewis (speaker), Gaius and Titius
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

For the whole purpose of their book is so to condition the young reader that he will share their approval, and this would be either a fool’s or a villain’s undertaking unless they held that their approval was in some way valid or correct. In actual fact Gaius and Titius will be found to hold, with complete uncritical dogmatism, the whole system of values which happened to be in vogue among moderately educated young men of the professional classes during the period between the two wars. Their scepticism about values is on the surface: it is for use on other people’s values; about the values current in their own set they are not nearly sceptical enough.

Related Characters: C. S. Lewis (speaker), Gaius and Titius
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point the Innovator may ask why, after all, selfishness should be more ‘rational’ or ‘intelligent’ than altruism. The question is welcome. If by Reason we mean the process actually employed by Gaius and Titius when engaged in debunking (that is, the connecting by inference of propositions, ultimately derived from sense data, with further propositions), then the answer must be that a refusal to sacrifice oneself is no more rational than a consent to do so. And no less rational. Neither choice is rational—or irrational—at all. From propositions about fact alone no practical conclusion can ever be drawn. This will preserve society cannot lead to do this except by the mediation of society ought to be preserved. This will cost you your life cannot lead directly to do not do this. It can lead to it only through a felt desire or an acknowledged duty of self-preservation.

Related Characters: C. S. Lewis (speaker), Gaius and Titius
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gaius and Titius Character Timeline in The Abolition of Man

The timeline below shows where the character Gaius and Titius appears in The Abolition of Man. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Men Without Chests
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
...have much good to say about the authors. He will refer to the authors as Gaius and Titius and to the book as The Green Book. (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
In the second chapter of their textbook, Gaius and Titius quote “the well-known story of Coleridge at the waterfall.” In this story, Coleridge overhears two... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
Gaius and Titius , in turn, comment that when the first tourist calls the waterfall “sublime,” he is... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
As an aside, Lewis argues that Gaius and Titius ’s claim isn’t really an accurate way of talking about feelings. When someone calls an... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
...all value statements are really statements about emotion; and, second, that such statements are unimportant. Gaius and Titius may not have intended to impart such ideas at all, and indeed, a young student... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
Before considering Gaius and Titius ’s position about value in greater detail, Lewis seeks to show the practical results of... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
Lewis argues that Gaius and Titius ’s critique of the advertisement fails, because all they do is criticize its use of... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Lewis doubts that Gaius and Titius set out to instill any philosophy in their readers. They have simply taken an easy... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
But, Lewis says, there is a third reason for Gaius and Titius ’s approach. He sets out to show that Gaius and Titius are in a different... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
Even though Gaius and Titius may set out to oppose propaganda, Lewis argues, their approach is ultimately no better. Without... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
...The Green Book and similar books do is produce “Men Without Chests.” It’s not that Gaius and Titius , then, are too intellectual—it’s that they lack “fertile and generous emotion.” (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
Even as modern education buys into the kind of training that Gaius and Titius offer, society “[continues] to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible.” People demand... (full context)
Chapter 2: The Way
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
...theoretical reasons that this is the case. Lewis begins by pointing out that, even if Gaius and Titius do not believe in objective value, they obviously do believe in bringing about certain desirable... (full context)
Education, Emotional Sentiment, and Ethics Theme Icon
Objective Value, Human Virtue, and Societal Health Theme Icon
Traditional Values vs. Innovation Theme Icon
...moderately educated young men of the professional classes during the period between the two wars.” Gaius and Titius are notably uncritical about these values. And this is typical: many who seek to debunk... (full context)