The Disparities In C. S. Lewis And J. R. R. Tolkien’s Fictional Worlds

630 words - 3 pages

Rarely has the literary history seen such a friendship as it is between C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, the authors of two well-known fantasy fictions, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. The two writers shared the same passion in languages and myths, and soon became close friends while living and working at Oxford. Though Lewis and Tolkien shared many common interests and the worlds they created are fraught with imperfections and closed to the real world, their works reflect many differences in the religious faith and territory of the two authors.

Because they were born in the same period of time and soon became friends, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were more or less influenced by the historic events of their time, especially the World War I. Both suffered from the loss of their parents while they were children. Sorrow over their pasts and their retreat from modernity gave them no where to go but their imaginations. They lost themselves in antiquated tales and created make-believe places — engaging in what today we might misunderstand as “escapism.” Of course, the realms of Lewis’ Narnia and Tolkien’s Middle-earth are fraught with troubles, wars, and imperfections, at least as much as our so-called real world.

Early in their companionship, Lewis and Tolkien divided their territory - Lewis would take "space-travel" and Tolkien "time-travel". In Narnia, readers saw many worlds. In The Magician's Nephew, Digory took his uncle rings and arrived at The Wood, where there are lakes that could shift him to many different spheres. The space in C. S. Lewis’s story is unconfined. On the contrary, there is no wardrobe which could lead to Middle-earth, the home of Tolkien’s tales. In The Lord of the Rings, readers are taken back to a very far history where there are races of Mortal,...

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