C. S. LEWIS, Out of the Silent Planet—chapter 1

A pedestrian, Ransom, dressed as a philologist, stopped to spare himself from taking a bath in the rain. He resumes his walk right after the last drop of the rain. It was not long before starting out that he realized that he had to walk longer than expected; he first stops at a motel called Nadderby. The lady of the hotel refused to rent him a space for the night. Hoping to walk five more miles before reaching another place, he finds a mother worrying about his son Harry who should be home by now from work. She informs him that the place he expected to rest in is not available, but suggests that he go to a nearby location called the Rise (a farm house) to spend the night. Rise is the location where Harry is working.

Arriving there, the Rise looks like an unoccupied place surrounded by fence, however through exploration, he saw smoke coming out of the building, which spurs his curiosity to look further, he forced himself into the porch which was not blatantly accessible, and when knocked on the door, no one responds. After a long while, he heard wrestling noise. He finds a way to get inside, which surprises two men who were forcing Harry into doing something he refused to do. One of the men, Devine, was a former student of his. The other man, Weston, still holds Harry on his neck while Devine tries to unsuccessfully introduce Weston to Ransom. But after a while, Devine convinces Weston to loosen up and let go of Harry. They both offer Ransom a drink, which he was in great need of. Ransom promises to take Harry Home after the drink and some rest.

Can this story be seen as a life’s journey where no one knows where they are really going? Ransom had plans to go to Nadderby to only find out that it is not available. His next plan was to walk further, but before he knows he was rescuing the woman’s son while looking for a resting place. Can the short road that Ransom traverses so far be seen as the road that all of us should be ready to go through? Feel free to interpret it differently!


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