Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tolkien and Lewis Similarities

So, I know there are a lot of similarities between the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, but in class today a couple were brought up that I found really interesting. This idea of Faerie, the magical land I guess you could call it, is a huge part of both of their writings. I think it's really interesting that people cannot really choose to enter this realm and then they can't really choose to leave it or go back to it later. To some extent, Smith was able to in Smith of Wooton Major because he travelled to this land several times. However, it was not his choice to get the ability to go in the first place. The star was given to him because he was meant to have it or something. And when he gives up the star, he will never be able to return to Faerie. It is out of his hands and he's done there. In the Chronicles of Narnia as well, the children who go to Narnia don't choose to or mean to really. They were just chosen for some reason. And when they are sent back home, they have no choice in when that is or for how long. Sometimes they get to come back and sometimes they've learned all they can, and again, it's out of their hands.

I think the most interesting thing is that it seems to be a theme that only certain people are picked to venture into the land of Faerie, and usually they are not obvious choices. Smith says that when he picks Tim, that he is not the most obvious choice. This is true too in the Chronicles of Narnia. The 4 children are not an obvious choice to go in and fight a great battle, and especially not to win it. It seems like people are chosen to go to Faerie based on how it will help them to grow and be better equipped for living in their own world. I think Lewis might have said that at some point, that they had learned all they could from Narnia and now they were ready to go and live in their world. I don't know, just some intersting ideas surrounding Faerie and how both authors used them.


Miriel said...

I think the fact that characters don't decide to go to Faerie, but rather it happens upon them, makes the world more special because not anyone can go whenever they chose. And also the fact that it is the unexpected people who travel into the world makes it special, especially to children, because then they think, "oh, well maybe it could be me!"

Luthien said...

Yeah - the similarities really are cool and interesting! I keep thinking of Eustace from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. At first he's this awful, snarky kid who wants to go back to England once he's in Narnia, and he seems to be the most poorly chosen person ever to be there. In the end, though, he is completely transformed for the better during his time in the land of Faery. :)