The Screwtape Letters Chapter 22: Summary & Quotes

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In chapter twenty-two of 'The Screwtape Letters' by C.S. Lewis, Screwtape has received word that patient has fallen in love, and he could not have picked a worse type of woman!

Incompetent Tempter

In chapter twenty-two of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, Uncle Screwtape is fed up with Wormwood's incompetence! After reprimanding his nephew for his attempt to report Screwtape to the Secret Police, accusing him of heresy because of some 'unguarded expressions' in an earlier letter, Screwtape makes it clear that the matter has been settled with the police and he intends to make Wormwood pay!

'Meanwhile I enclose a little booklet,' Screwtape writes, 'just issued, on the new House of Correction for Incompetent Tempters. It is profusely illustrated and you will not find a dull page in it.' Would you trust Screwtape's advice if you were Wormwood?

Bad Love

The patient's new love interest is yet another example of Wormwood's incompetence. 'Not only a Christian but such a Christian - a vile, sneaking, simpering, demure, monosyllabic, mouse-like, watery, insignificant, virginal, bread-and-butter miss. The little brute. She makes me vomit,' Screwtape says. Of course 'it', as Screwtape refers to her, can't be honest. No one can be that good and have a sense of humor! Screwtape wishes he could feed her to the lions. Even houseguests walk away reeking of Christianity! The family is most likely somehow benefiting from this deceptive display of love, but they have managed to guard their secret so far.


According to Screwtape, God is a hedonist at heart. A hedonist is a person whose life is devoted to seeking pleasure. He says, 'There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least - sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working, Everything has to be twisted before it's any use to us.' Nothing naturally works to Satan's advantage. Wormwood, however, should not think that will justify his failures.


The sounds of Heaven are music and silence. Screwtape cannot stand the sound of either one of them. The Underworld has Noise that protects its inhabitants from having to endure the awful sounds coming from Heaven. Research is underway to drown out the sounds of Heaven with the Noise from Hell. So far, the Noise is not strong enough. 'Meanwhile you, disgusting little -'

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