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Chapter 21: The Legend of Istra

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1. Do you find anything interesting about the new story of Psyche and Orual as was relayed by "Istra's Priest?" How do you think it "came" to the Priest? Is it really so different from the story that Orual has been telling?

2. Is the holy man right — was Orual jealous of Psyche? Why or why not?

3. "Why must holy places always be dark places?" How would you answer Orual's question?

"It is God who gives happiness; for he is the true wealth of men's souls." — Augustine

Topic starter Posted : August 13, 2010 2:26 am
daughter of the King
Princess Dot Moderator

1. I suppose it came to the Priest the same way any story does. One person hears of it, tells another, and another, until it gets passed around. How does it go in LotR? Tale became legend; legend became myth......something like that.

2. I'm not sure about this one. I don't think I would have described Orual as jealous; I always thought her more possessive than anything else.

3. Hm. I don't think holy places in Glome have to be dark places. Her limited perception clouds her judgment. She has blamed the gods for every single thing that went badly in her life, even her ugliness. She cannot see that the gods are much bigger, that's there more to them than what she knows.

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Posted : August 14, 2010 2:32 pm
Lady Haleth
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1. I wasn't quite sure what to think of the priest's story. The priest probably heard it from someone who heard it from someone else, and so on. It is rather different, because he only knows the outside events. The story Orual has been telling has been different because it was all her perspective and we got her thoughts and reasons behind what she did. But to anyone who merely looked at the events without seeing the motives might think she was jealous.
2. Not exactly. Like daughter of the King said, I would describe it more as a possessive love--she wanted Psyche to have a good life, but only the sort of good life she could give her. In one way its selfish, in another way not.
3. I don't think that holy places always have to be dark places. I think this is her grudge against the gods that makes her think this.

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Posted : August 15, 2010 2:37 am
The Logical Ornithological Mod Moderator

Did anybody else other than me notice that if Psyche herself was the one telling the story of what Orual had done to her that it becomes the exact same story that Orual has told.

For instance: Orual embodies both herself (in her love for Psyche) and Redival (in her jealousy for her sister) when visiting Psyche's palace.

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Posted : August 15, 2010 12:11 pm
Pattertwigs Pal
Member Moderator

1. Do you find anything interesting about the new story of Psyche and Orual as was relayed by "Istra's Priest?" How do you think it "came" to the Priest? Is it really so different from the story that Orual has been telling?

It is interesting that it is different from the one Orual tells, although that is not exactly surprising. I'm not sure how it "came" to the priest. I would guess that it was spread from person to person but how it started I'm not sure. That would explain some of the changes. I think one of the main differences is the slant the stories were given. The priest is clearly telling the story from a view that elevates Psyche and makes her look like the victim / hero. She is the goddess after all. Orual is telling the story like she is the main victim and Psyche is secondary. Parts of the stories are in clear contradiction of each other: the Priest's story implies that the sisters had the same mother and says nothing about the queen's being dead and that both sisters made the journey while Orual's story says that Psyche was only their half sister and she raise Psyche and that only she made the journey. I'm pretty sure that the Priest has the right idea that Redival was jealous of Psyche but that happened before the sacrifice. I'll address whether or not Orual was jealous when I answer question 2. Orual did get food from Psyche although it was not a feast and she did get a gift. It is really hard to say where the truth lies because Orual isn't the most reliable narrator. She does point out many of her own faults but her clear biased against the gods makes it hard to accept her story as completely true. I don't think that Orual is as bad as the priests story makes her out. However, she did see the palace for a little bit according to her own words and she didn't want to believe it was true that Psyche had all that.

2. Is the holy man right — was Orual jealous of Psyche? Why or why not?

I don't think she was jealous in the sense that he was talking about i.e. wanting something that some one else has / upset because some one has something better than you. I think she was jealous of the god. She didn't want him to have any of Psyche. She wanted Psyche and Psyche's love all to herself.

3. "Why must holy places always be dark places?" How would you answer Orual's question?

I don't think all holy place do have to be dark. God's presence is shown in darkness (ex. a cloud) and light (ex. a pillar of fire). I think some holy places are dark because it adds to the mystery and awe of a situation. Although in dark holy places, a lot of time the focus is on what light there is (stain glass windows, candles). I think some "holy" places are dark so the people running them can use the darkness to make people afraid so the people will do what they want.

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Posted : August 16, 2010 3:35 pm
NarniaWeb Nut

1. I have no idea how the story was started in the first pace, unless Psyche told someone. Obviously parts of the story are inaccurate so it was probably passed from person to person a few times.
2. I think deep down she is a little jealous of Psyche’s beauty. Mostly she’s jealous of Psyche husband. She doesn’t want Psyche to love anyone except her and maybe the Fox.
3. I think the dark sanctuaries are a cultural thing. The darkness represents the mysteries of the gods. It is the say reason they have a rock represent Ungit instead of a statue.

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Posted : August 18, 2010 6:43 pm
NarniaWeb Nut

I happen to think that the priest's tale is very close to the Orual's story.
The differences between the two:
1) Both sister's visit the secret palace instead of just Orual.
2) They see the palace, drink, and are given gifts.
3) The sister's plan to ruin Istra because they are jealous of her.
These may seem like they differ from Orual's story, but if you take a closer look, it's not different.
1) As DiGoRyKiRkE stated, Orual has embodied the character of Redival in that she is jealous of her.
2) Orual does see the palace(though not at first and only for a short glimpse), she does eat a feast (though she only sees berries), and she is given the gift of the cup (though she thinks it's Psyche's hands).
3) If you've ever heard "God is a god of jealousy" then you'll understand that Orual is jealous. Her consuming love of Psyche is a jealous love. She wants Psyche to love only her. And she is prepared to kill her for this love.
So I happen to agree with the priest's tale.

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Posted : September 20, 2010 8:09 am