tirsdag 18. januar 2011

C.S Lewis and Tolkien - Friendship, Authorship and Disagreements

The Chronicles of Narnia is in all a series of seven novels written by C.S Lewis between the period from 1949-1954, and published in March 1956. The film we watched in class before Christmas brake is based on the first book in the series; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The story in this movie takes place in World War I, a war that C.S Lewis experienced. His friend and famous author of The Hobbit, John Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) did also live through World War I. Though they both wrote fantasy novels, the content of their books where very different. Something else they both had in common and they used in their books, was the way World War I was fought. There were no guns or rifles, only swards, bows and arrows and that sort of weapons.

They were close friends but had their disagreements. Tolkien turned C.S Lewis over to Christianity while Lewis helped Tolkien expand his fictional writing. They both used Christianity as an underlining theme in their books. Tolkien meant Lewis used it way to obvious, while he on his side tried to bury it deep so it wouldn’t be too obvious to the reader, something he managed to do better than C.S Lewis.

Tolkien believed that Lewis should leave the theology to the experts and to the church, rather than writing popular theology and comparing Christ to a lion. In The Chronicles of Narnia he uses Aslan a symbol of Christ and his return from death. These blasphemous assertions from Lewis’ side Tolkien did not think very highly of.

These underlining themes in their writings were not the only conflicts going on in their friendship. After Tolkien turned C.S Lewis to Christianity Lewis’ further choice of religion caused a foundation that lead to disagreements. C.S Lewis chose Protestant Anglicanism instead of the Catholic direction that Tolkien was a part off. Lewis’ choice on its own did not cause any arguments, but the fact that he chose to use an anti-catholic tone in his writing, something that upset Tolkien. C.S Lewis was very fond of Jean Calvin, the founder of a very protestant direction. His followers were called Huguenots.

The two of them where members of a group of consisting of men that shared the same interests, expecially the history of the English language was something they both found interesting. But Lewis drifted apart from both Tolkien and the others when he entered a relationship with a woman called Joy Gresham, and the two friends lost contact.

Shortly added together it is safely to say that they had a turbulent friendship and they both had their own and strong opinions. I believe that they cared about each other very much, but their strong personalities, religious view and personal issues at least drifted them apart.
I found the information for my entry at this page:


2 kommentarer:

  1. Interesting writing about the two famous authors. Many facts I did not know. I know you found the information somewhere. You should always remember to reveal your sources!

  2. Ok,I will add it to the entry.