Course Hero Logo

The Great Divorce | Study Guide

C.S. Lewis

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Great Divorce Study Guide." Course Hero. 20 Dec. 2019. Web. 31 Mar. 2023. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2019, December 20). The Great Divorce Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "The Great Divorce Study Guide." December 20, 2019. Accessed March 31, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Great Divorce Study Guide," December 20, 2019, accessed March 31, 2023,

The Great Divorce | Chapter 2 | Summary



While the narrator looks out the window, the Poet tells him about his life. He explains that he was born into a family that he did not fit into and that he wasn't able to travel the way he wanted to. When things ended between him and his girlfriend, he killed himself and has been in the Grey Town since his death. He stops talking when a fight breaks out. At the end of it, the narrator is fine and is sitting next to a different person: Ikey.

Ikey tells the narrator that the town has existed for a very long time and that new people show up all the time. New people either go straight to the bus station or wander around the town, drifting farther and farther away from the center as they look for houses. Ikey wants people to move closer to the center of town again, and thinks he has a plan to encourage them to do so. He plans on bringing goods back from wherever they are going to bring back with him and sell to the people in the Grey Town. Ikey mentions creatures called "Them," who come out at night and are a threat to the ghosts. A large man (the Bishop) at that point cuts in and tells the narrator that it will not actually get dark, and that Ikey is wrong to think he should sell goods in the Grey Town, which he thinks allows total freedom.


Here, the narrator learns more about the Grey Town and the power of perspective. He learns that it is large, that ghosts in the town want distance from each other, and that they can imagine anything they need into existence. But Ikey wants to introduce capitalism and the marketplace to the town, which he hopes will draw people together again. In Ikey's perspective, the Grey Town is dangerous and alienating, but for the Bishop, alienation is actually freedom to do and own whatever one wants. The two also differ on what they think the dim light in the Grey Town means. Ikey thinks it means night is approaching; the Bishop believes it means dawn is coming.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Great Divorce? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!