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ENGB35H3 Lecture Notes - Puritans, Totalitarianism, Eucatastrophe

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Natalie Rose

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The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
Christian Fantasy
-Gateway (The Wardrobe)
-Question of allegory (the Lion)
The Witch (and Romance)
Gender and Class
Presents a challenge to institutional religion and to the formal text of the
Christian tradition.
Christian Fantasy
Lewis is not interested in the Church as an institution. Bypassing the Church.
“A sore of pre-baptism of the imagination …*that would+ make it easier for
children to accept Christianity when they met it later in life” (Lewis)
Point is that religion is very dull, Lewis’s point.
Imagination, fantasy; Romantic Christianity (power of imagination)
A key element of the power of story, which is to soften, us up when were older,
is the ending of the story. Lewis found joy in morphology.
“Joy”: existential happiness
Lewis concerted to Christianity by Tolkien.
“Joy”: existential happiness
Lewis concerted to Christianity by Tolkien.
Dyscatastrophe (sorrow and failure) Eucatastrophe
Tolkien on eucatastrophe (sudden happy ending, which follows from
Dyscatastrophe): “when the sudden ‘turn’ comes we et a piercing glimpse of joy,
and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame…and lets a gleam
come through”
Gateway Fantasy
Gateway as conversion narrative
Significance of the setting?
WW2; Professor’s house “in the heart of the country, ten miles from the
nearest railway station and two miles from the nearest post office”
Significance of wardrobe?
Romantic conversion narrative instead of puritan conversion narrative.
Sets up supernatural world.
Romantic desire for something beyond.
Witch is a totalitarian fascist ruler. She has her own secret police.
Establishing the existence of Narnia
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