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C. S. Lewis Essay

1840 words - 8 pages

Few authors have been able to demonstrate the incredible scope of different genres that Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C.S. Lewis, wrote in his career. Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind upon hearing his name is the mythical land of Narnia. Narnia is the fictional world that the widely popular series “The Chronicles of Narnia” takes place in. This series, enjoyed by adults and children alike, hosts talking animals, a God-like lion, an ice queen bearing many similarities to the Devil, and many other things. This series, like most of Lewis’ other works, is essentially a metaphor for the story of the Gospel as well as lessons for living a Christian life. In much of his writing, ...view middle of the document...

” Books such as these are often considered Christian apologetics because they tend to argue logically for Christianity. However, Lewis also revealed his logical side in his fiction works as well. In “The Screwtape Letters,” Lewis wrote as an experienced demon, “Screwtape,” writing letters to his nephew, a new demon, called “Wormwood.” Lewis’ purpose for writing through Screwtape is to expose human weaknesses and show tactics used by the devil to steal a man’s soul. Very matter-of-factly, he writes things like “Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts” (48). Even in his fantasy works for children, Lewis still presented reasoning. In the first book of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” Aslan, the lion who symbolizes God in the series, often offers offers advice to the child protagonists such as “All get what they want; they do not always like it” (The Magician’s Nephew 208).
The logical side of Lewis was not let go after Lewis returned to Christianity. Lewis described his journey back to Christianity in a series of steps (Surprised by Joy 217). He said he had been feeling influenced by God for some time, his atheist beliefs shaken by some new friends and books he read (Surprised by Joy 225). Ultimately, it was, in part, his logic that brought him back to Christianity. Always skeptical, Lewis said when he prayed for salvation he was “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England” (Surprised by Joy 228). After becoming a Christian, Lewis continued to be scholarly. He taught English and Philosophy at Oxford where he once went as a student.
Lewis was not overbearingly logical, however. Depending on the book, Lewis was also able to portray emotional stories that were both beautiful and sad, but always followed by joy. Lewis had a remarkable sense of “play,” believing that being joyful was an act of worship (Peters 16). He could also write solemnly. He described himself a “pessimist,” who even as a Christian would be the first to admit that there is often pain and suffering in the world. Perhaps the time in Lewis’ life that sadness most affected his writing was when his beloved wife of only four years died. It was at this time that Lewis wrote “A Grief Observed,” and it is in this that Lewis writes the most freely about pain and suffering. In this book, Lewis is incredibly honest with his readers about feelings experienced after the death of a loved one. Lewis struggled with bitterness and anger towards God at this time of his life, and because of this, he wrote freely about his struggle to keep his faith with God. He still does not lose his faith, however. Towards the end of “A Grief Observed,” Lewis writes “We are even promised suffering… I’ve got nothing I havn’t bargained for” (Qtd Peters 171-172).
The pain of losing his wife happened near the end of Lewis’ life. Still, Lewis was no stranger to grief in his youth. His mother died...

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