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C S Lewis And His Influences English Literature Essay

1418 words (6 pages) Essay in English Literature

5/12/16 English Literature Reference this

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The way a person writes defines them. Some authors write stories about death and hatred, others write about love and eternal life. One can walk through a library and see countless examples of different writing styles. No one author has a writing style that can be copied. The style another uses to write his or her books comes from a variety of places. Their background, how they were raised are all examples of things that are inside a person that comes out in the form of their writing. C.S. Lewis is no exception to this. C.S. Lewis, Author of “the Chronicles of Narnia”, “The Screwtape Letters”, “The Space Trilogy”, and many other literary works, has a unique writing style, which has been shaped by many things in his life and literature styles which he has come across.

Clive Staples Lewis, More commonly known by the name C.S. Lewis, was born on November 29, 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. As a child Lewis loved the books by Beatrix Potter, author of “The tale of Peter Rabbit.” Lewis loved how the animals could talk and became fascinated in the idea of anthropomorphisms, even so much that he invented the world of Boxen where animals rule. At the age of Thirty-Two, Lewis became a born again Christian and joined the Church of England. This move had a very profound influence on his work especially his “Chronicles Narnia” series, which follows a group of kids who stumble upon a mysterious would which is over seen by the all knowing Aslan.

In Lewis’ first book of the series, “The lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” the kids are thrust into a world while trying to escape the hardly hit England during the First World War. This magical world is full of talking animals and magical creatures.

The love for Anthropomorphism has a big role in Lewis’ stories. This we know by just reading his works. There are multiple examples in the “Narnia” series. First people can see how animals take on every day human tasks. Mr. And Mrs. Beaver are the first characters we see which take on roles of humans. As the children enter the home of these animals, they find a pot, plates, and other every day essentials of human life, except the beavers are using them. Another example of Anthropomorphism’s role in Lewis’ first work is with the armies that battle. We see animals taking the roles of humans when they prepare for battle. The animals sharpen weapons; mend armor, and congregate around campfires, as they get ready for the coming battle. The last major example of Anthropomorphism in this first work is with Alsan himself. Aslan is the “god” of Narnia. He is the spirit of which the creatures of Narnia look toward. Aslan talks and takes of on the idea of a human god.

Along with Anthropomorphism, mythology and bibliogical belief have a large roll in Lewis’ work. Lets keep looking at the “Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.” When the four children are thrust into the world of Narnia they are told that they furfill a prophecy. It states that,

“When two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sit enthroned at the castle of Cair Paravel, then the Witch’s reign will be over. It’s believed that the time for this must be near, since Aslan and the four children are now in Narnia.”

Even the mention of “Adam” and “Eve” show the connection between Lewis’ Christian beliefs and his writings. Also Alsan, Alsan as you know, is the sort of Jesus Christ of his world. In the book Aslan has willingly humiliated himself and died for the sons. The great lion is that killed on a great stole tablet. Jesus Christ dies for all the sins of his people and is crucified on a cross. Is it all starting to make sense? Like Jesus Christ, Aslan was resurrected and goes on to breathe life into His warriors, much like the Holy Spirit coming on all disciples. Then Aslan’s tells his troops that they may wage war with him against the White Witch and her armies, which is a lot like spiritual warfare from the bible.

As a child C.S. Lewis loved to read. He was lucky, and his parents let him read what ever he wanted. Along with the Anthropomorphism, Lewis loved Greek mythology. The stories and characters would take him into a land of wonderment and happiness as a child. Tiresias was a blind prophet of Thebes. He, like Alsan, he showed up when the story needed him to. Justice prevailed when he was around. His mere breath could resurrect beings that had been turned to stone. He was very favored by the deep magic magician. The white witch also seems to come from mythological beliefs. This connection can be made between her and the greek goddess Calypso from “Homor’s odyssey”. In the book, the white Witch draws one of the sons of Adam, Edmund, with the promise of becoming her king, and of course that whole room of Turkish delight. This is very much how Calypso promised Odysseus immortality, but in both cases, neither of the ladies kept their promises, and in fact planned on keeps their captives as their prisoners. As we all know, Edmund was able to escape with the help of Mr. Thomus, and Odysseus gets to go free when Hermes tells Calypso that its not okay to keep a mortal man to herself.

William Shakespeare is arguably the greatest and most well known poet in the history of literature. This English poet is famed for creating the greatest works in English literature, with such works as “Romeo and Juliet” and “A midsummer night’s dream.” It is only natural that a boy who loved to read, and imagine. A boy, who was fascinated in great literature, and great story telling, would read the writings of this great man sometime during his adolescence. In the Shakespeare’s play ” a midsummer night’s dream” Shakespeare talks about Puck, a faun who is the court jester of Oberon. The characteristics of a faun, a half human half goat, are those of mischievous means. They would play tricks on people or other creatures. However, no matter how bad they would be, a faun would never being actual harm onto a human.

The First character you meet in the story that is not of human genomes, is the character of Mr. Tumnus. We meet this faun when Lucy first stumbles into the world of Narnia. He is standing next to the infamous single light post in the middle of the woods. He first meets Lucy and is very kind to her. He takes her back to his house and offers her tea, and tells her more about the land or Narnia. The reader is first to believe that the faun is doing this out of kindness and generosity. But he is not! Like the Puck from “A Midsummer nights dream” or like anyother faun, Mr. Tumnus is about to pull somewhat of a prank on Lucy. He starts to play his flute, which takes Lucy into a sleep. Mr. Tumnus’ plan was to call the white witch hand hand “the daughter of Eve” over to her. Now another characteristic of a faun comes in. Like stated before, a faun would never do something that would actually harm a human. Because the white witch is a horrible ruling creature, Mr. Tumnus can only assume that she would do horrible things to Lucy. Because of this, the faun has a change of heart and tells Lucy to run, go back to where she came from. In the end the White Witch wasn’t very happy with this choice on the Fauns part, and turns him into a statue.

The Lion, The Witch, and The wardrobe is the first of C.S Lewis’ seven part series about the mystic land of Narnia. We have seen how many life ideas and experiences have influenced the writing of this specific book. Just like this book the other six books, and Lewis’ works can be tied in with the same basic influences. All of the Series have multiple examples Biblical influence along with mythological and British literature ties. The second book in the series Prince Caspian has even more ties to British literature.

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