This podcast covers the essay “Screwtape Proposes a Toast” which is found as an appendix to the current edition of “The Screwtape Letters”. It is a thought-provoking essay, written some 18 years after The Screwtape Letters were composed, and I felt that it deserved its own podcast. Screwtape is a senior devil in Hell, and this essay is his speech delivered at a dinner in honor of the recent graduates of Hell’s Tempter College. Since the speaker is a devil, we must remember that what is back to us is white to him, and what is bad is good.
In Jack’s vision of Hell, the devils can feed upon the outraged personalities of the souls that are sent there. Screwtape’s theme is that modern society is now turning out souls that are, for the most part, failed humans. They are hardly fit to be dammed to Hell. While this may be disappointing to the devils from a gastronomical view, overall it is a good thing for Hell, and Screwtape goes on to explain why it is good and how this feat was accomplished.
This essay is really an attack on modern education and mass culture. It is a companion piece to “The Abolition of Man”, and “That Hideous Strength”, both written by Lewis.