Till We Have Faces

Till We Have Faces

The Fox, so named by the King for his red hair, is a slave from the Greeklands who becomes the teacher of the princesses of Glome. Orual and Psyche see him as a grandfather figure and love him wholeheartedly, and he essentially raises them. The Fox practices Greek philosophy that seems to be a form of Stoicism, teaching the princesses to follow nature and reason over poetry, emotion, and myths of the gods. In fact, the Fox doubts the existence of the gods and teaches Orual to do so as well. When Orual goes to him for advice about Psyche, his is the argument of reason: Psyche’s lover must be a runaway criminal who has deceived her into believing she lives in a palace. In this way, he counteracts Bardia’s religious viewpoint. The Fox becomes the King’s most trusted advisor, and goes on to advise Orual when she becomes Queen. He loves her dearly, and though she sets him free, he decides to remain in Glome for her sake rather than returning to his beloved Greeklands. Later, Orual realizes that she has consumed his life out of her selfish love when she should have urged him to follow his heart back to his home. At the end of the book, the Fox’s ghost, turned to religion, guides Orual to an understanding of the gods’ influence on her life and Psyche’s. The Fox most represents Lewis himself, who was an atheist for many years and only unwillingly converted to Christianity when he could see no other truth.

The Fox Quotes in Till We Have Faces

The Till We Have Faces quotes below are all either spoken by The Fox or refer to The Fox. 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:
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt edition of Till We Have Faces published in 2012.
Part 1: Chapter 2 Quotes

The Fox clapped his hands and sang, “Prettier than Andromeda, prettier than Helen, prettier than Aphrodite herself.”

“Speak words of better omen, Grandfather,” I said, though I knew he would scold and mock me for saying it. For at his words, though on that summer day the rocks were too hot to touch, it was as if a soft, cold hand had been laid on my left side, and I shivered.... I knew it is not good to talk that way about Ungit.

Related Characters: Orual (The Queen) (speaker), The Fox (speaker), Psyche (Istral)
Related Symbols: Ungit
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 1: Chapter 18 Quotes

“Fool!” I said to myself. “Have you not yet learned that you are that to no one? What are you to Bardia? ...His heart lies at home with his wife and her brats. If you mattered to him he’d never have let you fight. What are you to the Fox? His heart was always in the Greeklands. You were, maybe, the solace of his captivity. They say a prisoner will tame a rat. He comes to love the rat—after a fashion. But throw the door open, strike off his fetters, and how much’ll he care for the rat then?”

Related Characters: Orual (The Queen) (speaker), The Fox, Bardia, Ansit
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Part 2: Chapter 1 Quotes

Oh, Queen Orual, I begin to think you know nothing of love.... Perhaps you who spring from the gods love like the gods. Like the Shadowbrute. They say the loving and the devouring are all one, don’t they? ...You’re full fed. Gorged with other men’s lives, women’s too: Bardia’s, mine, the Fox’s, your sister’s—both your sisters’.

Related Characters: Ansit (speaker), Orual (The Queen), Psyche (Istral), Redival, The Fox, Bardia, The god of the Grey Mountain (the Brute/the Shadowbrute)
Related Symbols: Ungit
Page Number: 264-65
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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The Fox Character Timeline in Till We Have Faces

The timeline below shows where the character The Fox appears in Till We Have Faces. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 1
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...a goddess represented by a faceless black stone, lives in her temple. Orual’s old teacher, the Fox , told her that Ungit was the same goddess as the Greeks’ Aphrodite. (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Before long, Orual loves her teacher, known as the Fox , more than anyone else in her life. Considering that he was captured and sold... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
The Fox tells a Greek story of Aphrodite. The goddess fell in love with the prince Anchises,... (full context)
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The Fox is ashamed that he loves poetry, thinking it foolishness, but Orual works hard at philosophy... (full context)
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The sisters and the Fox usually work behind some pear trees. One day the King finds them there and announces... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
The King decides that the Fox must teach Orual, Redival, and other noble girls to sing a Greek bridal hymn, even... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 2
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...great hall, the Priest of Ungit performing ceremonies around a fire. Orual is afraid, but the Fox tells her not to fear anything related to nature. She falls asleep, and when she... (full context)
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Orual has the wild idea to visit the new Queen. As the Fox tries to stop her, the King comes out of the Queen’s chamber in a dangerous... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...about having only female children. He shakes Orual and throws her from him, then attacks the Fox , ordering him to go work in the mines. (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
The King throws everyone out of the hall. Orual begs the Fox to run away, but he says he’s too old. Orual insists that she’ll go with... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
They then hear horses and see that messengers from the kingdom of Phars have arrived. The Fox is called to the palace, and when he and Orual go to the Pillar Room,... (full context)
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Later, the Fox comes to tell Orual that he won’t be sent to the mines. He has just... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
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...get women pregnant. Orual goes to see Psyche and finds her a beautiful, quiet baby. The Fox likens her to Helen of Troy. (full context)
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Jealousy Theme Icon
...of Psyche, finding her a nurse and having both of them constantly in her chamber. The Fox warns her not to work herself too hard, but Orual doesn’t see it as work.... (full context)
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The King now completely trusts the Fox , who often brings Orual and Psyche to a hilltop where they can see all... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 3
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...surprises the couple and has Tarin made into a eunuch. The King blames Orual and the Fox for not keeping Redival out of trouble, and commands them to never let her out... (full context)
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...to remarry. One day, Psyche and Redival wander off through the gardens while Orual and the Fox are studying philosophy. When they return, Redival mocks Psyche, calling her a goddess, and goads... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...had similar encounters in the past, and she fears that the gods will be jealous. The Fox assures her that the sort of gods who could be jealous only exist in poets’... (full context)
Self-understanding Theme Icon
...weakens the King’s position in Glome. There’s also another bad harvest, and a fever spreads. The Fox falls ill and the King forces Orual to do the Fox’s work. She finds she... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
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Psyche nurses the Fox back to health, getting angry if anyone tries to stop her. Gossip carries the story... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...leave offerings for Psyche outside the palace. Orual worries that Ungit will be angry, but the Fox assures her that the Priest of Ungit is ill, too, and can’t do anything. (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 4
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...again, for there are conflicts with the neighboring kingdoms. He alternates between hitting Orual and the Fox and begging for their help. Luckily, the fever leaves the palace. (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 5
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
The Fox asks to speak and suggests that the shepherd simply saw the shadow of the lion.... (full context)
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The Fox asks to speak again and argues that the Priest of Ungit’s words make no sense.... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
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The Fox seems hurt by the Priest of Ungit calling him a coward. Orual would like to... (full context)
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...made, because he is speaking Ungit’s will. In fact, he’ll haunt the King in death. The Fox has taught Orual that the Priest only works for his own power in the kingdom,... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 6
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Orual wakes to the King and the Fox lifting her into a chair. The King is surprisingly gentle, and he tips wine into... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
...more time. The King asks what they would do if they were in his place. The Fox replies that he would try to delay the sacrifice however he could, and then offer... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
...his counselors are supposed to tell him how to strengthen his position as king, but the Fox has just told him to give up his kingship. The Fox replies that he forgot... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 7
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Psyche smiles and sits tall, frightening Orual. Psyche reminds her sister that the Fox always told them to pity the bad people around them who do not know good... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...calms down, she says that the Priest of Ungit has visited her. She wonders if the Fox ’s view of the world might be faulty. He calls the world a city, but... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
...leaving Orual behind, and wonders if she ever loved her. Psyche insists that Orual and the Fox were the only people she’s been able to love. Orual will follow Psyche into death... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...death most when she was most happy, looking at the Grey Mountain with Orual and the Fox . Everything seemed to be calling to her to go somewhere else, but she didn’t... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 8
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Orual becomes aware of a pleasant sound and finds the Fox sitting next to her. He tells her the sound is rain. Orual’s injuries have healed,... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...in civil war and is no longer a threat to Glome. One day Orual asks the Fox whether he still believes that Ungit doesn’t exist. Orual thinks the changes in Glome immediately... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...few days, Glome’s fortune would have changed on its own and Psyche wouldn’t have died. The Fox finds comfort in the fact that Psyche went to her fate bravely, but he is... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
The next day, Orual tells the Fox that it’s too late for her to be Iphigenia, but she can still be Antigone,... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 9
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
Six days later, Orual and Bardia set off early in the morning. Only the Fox and Orual’s servants know of their journey. Orual wears a sword at Bardia’s insistence, and... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 10
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
The only thing that comforted Psyche was a vague thought of the Fox ’s philosophy about the divine mixed with the Priest of Ungit’s words about sacrifice. It... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 13
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When Orual reaches her chamber, the Fox is waiting for her, and she tells him Psyche is alive. She bathes and eats,... (full context)
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Orual considers telling the Fox about her vision of the palace, but decides he wouldn’t take it seriously. She suggests... (full context)
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The Fox can’t think of what to do, and Orual despairs as to how she’ll escape back... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
The Fox points out that Psyche will get pregnant soon, which makes Orual want to torture Psyche’s... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Orual can’t think how to convince Psyche to leave the Mountain besides using force, but the Fox points out that they have no force to use. They sit silently while a servant... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...the man who has trapped her. If Orual has to, she claims, she’ll kill Psyche. The Fox is horrified. He tells her that her love is overruled by her anger and pride.... (full context)
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Orual insists that the Fox doesn’t understand everything, and he readily agrees. He doesn’t believe the royal house has divine... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
The Fox is tired, and must go to bed. He says they will continue talking in the... (full context)
Self-understanding Theme Icon
She sees clearly now. Though she has believed both Bardia and the Fox , one must be wrong. If the beliefs of Glome are correct, then Bardia is... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 14
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
...thinking this way about Psyche’s husband. Orual insists that the two wisest men they know, the Fox and Bardia, agree with each other and with her about the situation. Psyche is upset... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Psyche is surprised that the Fox even believes in the Brute. Orual didn’t say he did, but she doesn’t correct Psyche.... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 15
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
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...like Psyche. She’s glad to share Psyche’s punishment. She wonders what she’ll tell Bardia and the Fox . (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 16
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
...that the King is still away. She creeps to her room, realizing that she’s avoiding the Fox . She’s eating when he arrives and asks where she’s been. She tells him she... (full context)
Self-understanding Theme Icon
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Orual tells the Fox only that a storm flooded the valley and she heard Psyche leaving Glome. Eventually he... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
The Fox asks how Orual convinced Psyche to go through with the plan. Orual knows that if... (full context)
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Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
...drunk and in a bad mood. A few days later, he sends for Orual and the Fox . He orders Orual to take off her veil, but she doesn’t fear him anymore... (full context)
Self-understanding Theme Icon
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Orual often asks the Fox about science and politics, wanting concrete knowledge. She also continues her swordsmanship lessons with Bardia,... (full context)
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Three nights later, Arnom tells Orual, Bardia, and the Fox that the King will probably die. Orual thinks she’ll be driven out of Glome in... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
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...guard. She knows that Arnom will accept because he needs the palace on his side. The Fox and Bardia congratulate her. (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 17
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Orual goes to the King’s bedroom. He seems worse, and he can’t speak. The Fox tells her that he’s just received word that Argan of Phars is ten miles away... (full context)
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Orual, Bardia, and the Fox agree that Trunia will probably rule Phars in the end, since most people hate Argan... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
...be someone so low that it would be shameful for Argan to refuse to fight. The Fox and Bardia are skeptical. Orual clarifies that she means Argan must fight a woman. She... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
The Fox thinks the plan is scandalous—Greeks are more sensitive to social conventions than the people of... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 18
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
Redival leaves and the Fox comes in. He apologizes for using Orual’s love for him to try to force her... (full context)
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
...the new Priest—but she doesn’t fear him like she did the old Priest. Arnom and the Fox talk about the King’s condition, and Orual and Bardia go outside. (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Orual returns to the Pillar Room, where she frees the Fox from slavery. Immediately she hears Bardia and Arnom lamenting the loss of him, and she... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Jealousy Theme Icon
Orual doesn’t understand how much the Fox wants to go home, because she’s never left Glome and she finds her home oppressive.... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
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The Fox finds Orual before bedtime, and she is subdued. He has decided to stay, as he... (full context)
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...it. She needs better armor, so they go to the King’s room to find some. The Fox sits at his bed. As Orual and Bardia are debating about the armor, the Fox... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 19
Self-understanding Theme Icon
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...prepare for Orual’s battle with Argan, even though the battle itself is short. Orual wants the Fox to come well-dressed, but he doesn’t like the clothes of Glome. Then Bardia wants Orual... (full context)
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...of the bull and take oaths. The preparations seem endless. Finally all is ready, and the Fox is very distressed. Trunia is shocked when Orual reveals herself as the champion. She and... (full context)
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...weak and different, perhaps the way women feel when they lose their virginity. Bardia and the Fox run to congratulate her, and she weeps. She has to talk to everyone and do... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 20
Earthly vs. Divine Theme Icon
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The Queen’s strength comes from her excellent advisors, Bardia and the Fox , who are honest and loyal. It helps that they don’t think of her as... (full context)
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The Queen gives the Fox pleasant rooms and land, as well as money to buy books. Traders come to Glome... (full context)
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
Self-understanding Theme Icon
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...more light into the temple and he keeps it cleaner. He is also learning from the Fox to see the gods philosophically. He orders a woman-shaped statue of Ungit like the Greeks... (full context)
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The Fox grows old and plays a less active role; he writes a history of Glome, once... (full context)
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The Queen doesn’t have much time for the Fox . She makes many changes for the good of Glome, but she doesn’t care much... (full context)
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The Fox dies, and the Queen writes Greek verses for his gravestone. He is buried behind the... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 1
Love and Devouring Theme Icon
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...on her because she was lonely. She used to say that Orual loved her until the Fox and Psyche came, and then Orual stopped loving her. The Queen isn’t sure whether to... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 2
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...He replies that she represents the earth, a way of thinking that he’s gotten from the Fox . The Queen asks how Ungit can be both the mother and wife of the... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 4
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The act of hearing herself read her own complaint has satisfied Orual’s need for justice. The Fox always told her to say what she meant. Now (still in the mysterious courtroom) she... (full context)
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The Fox then speaks up in the courtroom, taking the blame for teaching Orual that gods didn’t... (full context)
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...protest, but the trial is over. She jumps down into the crowd of ghosts, and the Fox finds her. He asks her forgiveness, but instead she says that she should have sent... (full context)
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The Fox leads Orual into a bright chamber. The walls are painted with stories that come alive... (full context)
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The Fox asks whether Orual understands the pictures. She doesn’t see how Psyche could have been so... (full context)
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On the final wall, Orual sees Psyche walking down into the earth. The Fox explains that everyone is born into the house of Ungit and must escape it. Ungit... (full context)
...people of Glome, who cry for her to become their goddess. Psyche ignores them. Next, the Fox appears and tells Psyche that the gods and her tasks are all her imagination. Instead,... (full context)
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Orual can’t believe she and the Fox did such awful things to Psyche in the name of love. The Fox says that... (full context)
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...that Psyche is approaching, bringing the casket of beauty from the land of the dead. The Fox leads Orual outside into a beautiful courtyard. Psyche appears, and Orual falls to the ground... (full context)