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Outline Divorce Essay

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Heaven in The Great Divorce

What is the goal of life? Does one live just for the sake of it? Despite the illusion the permanent nature of life, the past has indicated that the belief is a fallacy. Where does one go after dying? Do the actions of a person affect where he or she goes after death? Is there a shared destiny for all the people after they die? Death is inevitable as Edgar posits in his poem Lucinda Matlock “ … eight of whom we lost… I had lived enough” Existence of hell and earth has dominated the minds of the people for long time. Spirits do not vanish after death as it is indicated in “ it was fabled that the spirits … within its verge.”( Hawthorne, par 3)

Attempts to explain the idea of where the soul goes after death has culminated in the creation of different religions. C.S Lewis wrote The Great Divorce as a reply to a previous book by Blake named The Marriage Of Hell And Heaven. The Great Divorce is an expression of what the writer believed to the representative of the real scenarios surrounding the debate of the reality of hell or heaven (Hart, 55). This book will seek to evaluate the depictions of heaven in the allegory novel and make inferences on the actual meaning that the author wished to convey to the public (Lewis, 21).

At the time when the author wrote the book, there was a widespread philosophy that the actions of any person did not affect his after life (Inge, 14). This is the same ideal that Blake purports to hold in the previous work that led to the writing of the book. However, Lewis sought to dispel the notion that the final destiny of the human being is predetermined and that there is no possibility of any person redeeming himself (Hart, 37). Through this mythical work, Lewis present both hell and heaven as rewards for the actions that a person undertook in his normal life. Some of the ideals that are held in the novel are directly translated from the bible. In the fantasy of representing the imagined experiences of the human soul after death creates a worthy contest of the philosophy that all people move to the same place after their demise (Inge, 14-32).

Heaven is presented to the audience as a place of rest and vast possibilities. This is a contradiction to the representation of the hell in the novel since it is comparatively or even exaggeratedly smaller than heaven (Lewis, 32). This purposeful representation of heaven as a bigger place leads to the notion that there are more people that are worthy to be in the place. Heaven is a place of possibilities and abundance. People have more than they may demand and there is definitely better than the physical world. Heaven is a reward for the people that have virtues. This is the final outcome that people have at the end of the “moral journey”.

The depiction of the people in heaven is better compared to the one used to refer to the people from hell. Lewis creates a mental image of the people in heaven as bright and solid. This depiction makes the notion of a second life that has pervaded most of the religions real since the people in heaven are almost as real as those on earth. He notably changes how the people in hell are. They are not actual people (Lewis, 15). They lack the solid nature and they are just spirits or phantoms. The use of the above contrasts makes heaven more appealing to the reader compared to hell.

Lewis’ heaven is a better than hell since it is filled with colors that almost make the people disappear. The earlier description of the people as bright and solid is left out at this point since the colors in heaven almost make them disappear. The changing focus or depiction of the people in heaven from bright and solid to spirits serves as a reminder to the reader that the people in heaven are also ghosts and not real. This clarification comes later on in the novel after the author works hard to influence the mental visualization of the phantoms in heaven as real people (Lewis, 21).

Choice as a theme comes out clearly in the novel. People make many choices as it is indicated in The Hill …

Who played with life all his ninety years,
Braving the sleet with bared breast,
Drinking, rioting, thinking neither of wife nor kin,

Nor gold, nor love, nor heaven?

Most of the phantoms in hell opt to remain in the small area since they have the power to choose what to do. This is a feeling that they are accustomed to in their normal life. However, the depiction of heaven is that it is a place of serving. However, the servants in heaven have more space for themselves compared to the phantoms in hell. The idea of heaven being a place of servitude and hell being the absolute place of leadership creates a contradiction (Lewis, 24-50). The expansive nature of heaven compared with the small size of hell leads to an instant ideal that heaven is full of freedom. Going ahead to state that there is more free will in hell than in heaven contradicts the earlier literal description of heaven.

However, the reign in hell is not worthwhile since most of the people in hell have less inclinations to work towards a common rule. This means that hell’s ideal of reign is all in the minds of the characters, hence, abstract. “Milton was right," said my Teacher. "The choice of every lost should can be expressed in the words, 'Better to reign in Hell than to serve in Heaven.' ..... There is always something they prefer to joy --- that is, to reality." (Lewis, 41) Insertion of this issue of power to choose in the novel is important. It helps highlight the proposed notion of freedom by Blake as a fallacy (Hart 56). The idea that one can follow his or her selfish intent, work against the moral grain of the society and end up in heaven with the rest of the people is a lie that Lewis exposes. People in hell are the ones that followed their selfish motives in their previous lives. Therefore, entry into heaven is not guaranteed. Heaven is a place created as a reward to the people that can follow the laid rules.

Works cited

Hart, James David. The Oxford Companion To American Literature. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. Print.
Inge, M. Thomas. Literature. 1st ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008. Print.
Lewis, C. S. The Great Divorce. 1st ed. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1946. Print.

The topic of divorce would seem to require no introduction. Divorce refers to the often messy and painful end of a marriage. For better or for worse, divorce is a very common event these days. Most everyone has been touched by it, either by going through it themselves as a spouse or a child, or knowing someone who has gone through it as a spouse or as a child. Despite widespread familiarity with the effects of divorce, the details of the divorce process are less well known. In this section, we discuss the important concepts and procedures involved in the divorce process with the sincere hope that educating people regarding this information will help minimize pain.

You can feel like the loneliest person in the world when you are contemplating divorce. It's therefore important to keep divorce in perspective so that it doesn't crush you:

The first thing to know about divorce is that it is common and nothing to be ashamed of. According to recent statistics, the rate of divorce in the United States (0.40%) is approximately half the rate of marriage (0.78%), suggesting that approximately 50% of all marriages - an enormous number! - are ending in divorce. While the actual meaning of these figures is arguable (given that it may be unfair to try to predict who will divorce in the future based on who is divorcing today), there is no disputing the fact that a great number of Americans have divorced and will divorce in the future. Divorce is so common it has become an industry unto itself with lawyers and matchmaking companies being just a few of the groups deriving economic benefit from the process. Under the social pressure of so many divorces, the stigma that used to be attached to divorce is largely gone. It continues to be painful to divorce, but with so much company, it is no longer a lonely isolated place.

  • Divorce is an ancient institution
  • The second thing to know about divorce is that it is an old and venerable institution. People have been getting divorces as long as people have been getting married. The ease with which a divorce can be obtained, the social stigma attached to divorce, and the amount of control religious and political powers have exercised over divorce have varied significantly over time and cultures. On the one hand, some accounts suggest that Islamic law at one point allowed a man to divorce his wife by simply stating the phrase "I divorce you" three times. On the other hand, other accounts suggest that the sixteenth century English king Henry XIII went so far as to cause the Anglican Church to be created (or at least become fully recognized) so as to gain permission for a divorce which the Catholic Church had denied him.

    Less than 50 years ago, divorce was only widely available in the United States on a "fault" basis; it could only be obtained by demonstrating to the state's approval that one of the partners was acting badly enough to warrant release of the other partner. Acceptable grounds for fault divorce varied from state to state, but usually included abuse, adultery, and abandonment. The difficulty of gaining divorce, and a cultural climate that stigmatized divorce combined to keep divorce rates low. Since the 1960s most states have adopted "no-fault" divorce laws that allow couples to divorce without proving wrongdoing. Due in part to this reform and probably to other cultural changes, the divorce rate has risen, and being divorced is no longer looked down upon.

  • Divorce doesn't have to be awful
  • The third thing to know about divorce is that it isn't always awful. With the availability of no-fault divorce options, the process of divorce is no longer necessarily adversarial. Partners are now free to proceed with divorce as calmly and rationally as they can manage. Certainly divorce is frequently born out of marital conflict and proceeds as a knockdown, drag-out fight for possessions, child custody and pride. But modern divorce can also take place amicably, consciously and without a court battle. Marriage therapy can help conflicted partners to repair their marriage, or, if that is not possible, to separate on as positive terms as is possible. Arbitration is available to help partners successfully divide their possessions without recourse to the courts. The quality of the divorce any given couple will end up experiencing will be deeply influenced by the quality of relationships the partners can maintain with each other, and with professional helpers they work with during the separation process.

  • Divorce is a legal process separately from an emotional one
  • The fourth thing to know about divorce is that it is at once an emotional journey, and a legal process, and that it is best to keep these two aspects of divorce separate when that is possible. Marriage is a legal contract recognized by the state conferring rights, privileges and responsibilities. From a legal perspective, divorce is a process of disengaging partners from the legal marriage contract and making sure that those things the spouses are responsible for (including children and property) are properly accounted and cared for. The very rational and purposeful legal process of divorce contrasts mightily with the chaotic and emotional aspects of divorce which involve coming to grips with rather massive life changes as significant and shattering as any family death and which may involve significant grief, anger, sadness and pain. We'll be dealing with the emotional and legal aspects of divorce separately in this document.

  • Divorce is not the end of the world
  • The final thing to know up front about divorce is that divorce is not the end of the world. Divorce is a crisis involving a very real end, but it is also a very real new beginning. Divorce is the end of a chapter of life, but not the end of life itself (even though it may feel that way). In the midst of the divorce crisis are seeds of opportunities for remaking life into something again enjoyable new and creatively good. It is important to keep this hopeful and true message in mind as the process unfolds.

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