Clive Staples Lewis was a university professor of Magdalen College Oxford when he wrote the Screwtape letters. He was one of the greatest Christian apologists of his time, writing in defence of Christianity in an increasingly secular world. He had already written several books and was a popular broadcaster on BBC where he had been invited at the beginning of the war to deliver a series of lectures on basic Christianity. It was first published in 1942, during World War II and became immediately popular. In the book he is making clear his belief that there is no such thing as neutrality in the spirit, that all things of the world are either controlled by God or by the devil.
The book itself seems to give a somewhat humorous twist to a very serious subject. In it CS Lewis is attacking many common misconceptions about Christainity that were prevalent in the intellectual circles of that time
In the book, Screwtape is portrayed as a senior, more experienced demon in charge of giving advice to his nephew,Wormwood, a junior tempter as he tries to steer his charge, down the wrong path, away from God through a series of letters.
Screwtape is always advising Wormwood to avoid the use of big obvious sins to corrupt his patient, encouraging him to instead focus on the subject’s minor faults and shortcomings, small neglects and criticisms, leading to a belief in the subject that they cannot achieve the goal of being a Christian and so falling away in discouragement thus achieving the their goals. This theme is significant as it exposes the misconception that the small details were not important in the life of a Christian as long as he kept the “big” rules.
In the book he also brings out the subtle use of jargon and innuendo as a weapon to confuse and bring down, saying that it was important to steer the victim away from the realitys. This was at a time when the power of propaganda was in full sway and becoming very important in the wartime society. The intellectual...