In Charles Williams's All Hallows’ Eve, the primary female characters wage war internally: Betty is a split-selved “house divided,” and the protagonist Lester and the antagonist Evelyn are bound together in a deformed manikin, each pulling the body in a different direction according to their wills. With this image of a “haunted” manikin, Williams neatly concretizes and lends credence to the notion of compartmentalized selves—those competing and complex matrices of impulses which exist within one body. In That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis elaborates on this idea by offering a sustained analysis of Jane’s many compartmentalized selves: the smitten first Jane, the disdainful second Jane, the moral third Jane, and the “fourth and supreme Jane" of joy (149). The body, then, becomes a locus for many spirits or personalities to exist and pursue their own quests, fighting against (and sometimes, with) each other for their own agendas. Traditionally, scholars have identified the hero as a particular character, as represented by a physical body, defined by a matrix of virtues and fatal flaws. Drawing from Lewis’s and Williams’s theologies, as well as an eclectic mix of Greek, Romantic, psychoanalytic, and internal family systems theory, the purpose of this paper is to better understand Betty, Lester, and Jane, as well as the depth of their internal struggles, by re-conceptualizing the figure of the hero as not merely one embodied character, but an interior self which may work together with other selves to make right and moral decisions. Lewis’s Feverstone reminds us that there are “wheels within wheels,” and I hope to explore the differing psychological networks at work within the larger territory of the mind: e pluribus unum, in this case, the one (hero) born from many.
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