The lights dimmed and Prostitute spoke up again, “This is why everyone comes here. This place has the best entertainment in the entire town.”
Christian looked on as he began his meal, which was delicious. A tall woman came out onto the stage and began to sing. Her voice was soothing and the music relaxing. After a few seconds the woman began to dance while she sang, adding a certain aesthetic feel to the already relaxed emotions of those in the audience. Christian had not noticed before, because the lights were so dim, but this dancer was wearing very little and, when she began dancing, did so while glorifying her own sexuality and the sexuality of others. Still, even he found it soothing and did not look away.
“Do you have entertainment like this on the other side of the chasm?” asked Prostitute.
Christian replied, “Not even close.”
“Why not?” the Prostitute continued, “You seem to enjoy it.”
“Yes, but perhaps I shouldn’t,” Christian admitted.
This sort of entertainment was not like that produced by News or Film, who both still sat at the next table themselves enjoying the show. This entertainment did not pull in the audience with a certain shock factor, but instead by causing the audience to feel emotionally at ease. In the King’s court Christian had always learned to guard his heart against the deception of the emotions, but in Enticement it seemed that the trust of human emotion was encouraged. Was Christian now guilty of objectifying the woman on stage because of her effect on his emotion?
After the song, the lights were brightened and the dancer exited the stage and sat with Christian and Prostitute.
“Your not from here,” she looked at Christian.
Christian shook his head, “No, ma’am. I am from the other side of the chasm.”
“Well,” she inquired, “did you enjoy my song?”
Christian felt guilty admitting it, “Yes. What is your name?”
“Oh, I am so sorry. My name is Dancer.”
Prostitute spoke up, “Christian tells me that they don’t have entertainment like this where he is from.”
“What sort of entertainment do you have?” Dancer asked.
Christian thought for a moment, “On occasion we will have singing, but we are not really that concerned with entertainment. This was quite new to me.”
“Why are you not concerned with entertainment?” Dancer persisted.
Why did his people not focus so much on entertainment? This was not a question that Christian had ever thought to ponder.
“I guess that too heavy a focus on entertainment is too heavy a focus on self, and we are taught to always serve others.” Christian answered.
Dancer responded, “I see. If you are to serve others, then should you not also accept the service of others so that they can also serve? This is what entertainment is.”
“Yes. I suppose so,” Christian admitted, “but what is this sort of entertainment worth?”
“It makes people feel good,” Dancer replied.
“Is this not only temporary?” Christian continued.
“Yes,” answered Dancer, “but so is food, and people must eat.”
Prostitute entered again into the conversation, “Is there anything that is not temporary?”
Christian replied, “Yes. Life under the King.” He turned his attention back to Dancer, “Why do you choose to entertain people in this manner?”
“Well, it pays the bills. I am good at it; and the popularity is not so bad either.”
Christian continued, “And what would happen if you ever failed to satisfy this particular emotion inside your audience?”
Dancer admitted that she would be replaced with a younger, prettier and more talented woman.
Christian spoke again, “While this is the case here, where I am from people have intrinsic value for no other reason than that they are people. We do not have to sell ourselves to the emotions and money of others. I suppose when I see this type of entertainment, it only seems that you are working only for the acceptance of your audience. You are worth more than that. Where I am from, you can be loved even if you do not reveal your body. In fact, we encourage modesty because all people, including young women, are worth so much. Is the acceptance that this audience gives you worth it if they only objectify you because of your body?”
Prostitute was silent. She had sold herself to an even greater degree than did Dancer.
Dancer responded, “I thought you enjoyed the show?”
“I did,” Christian replied, “but I am certain that it was not right.”
“I have never thought that I actually encouraged others to objectify me,” Dancer admitted, “and to think that I criticize those who do the objectifying when I am just as guilty. I guess entertainment is like food after all. There are certain kinds that are not good for the body and too much causes obesity. What kind of person encourages obesity?”
Dancer stood and went presumably to clothe herself, while Prostitute looked toward the floor, “You must think me to be so filthy.”
“I try not to be so presumptuous,” replied Christian, “Are not all people full of worth?”
The two stood together and left the restaurant. “Let me show you the library,” Prostitute said.
Continue to: Book IV