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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (part 1).docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Natalie Rose

ENGB35 March 13, 2013 Christian fantasy Some Christians may not approve of this book, despite Christian overtones, because it had fantasy.  However, Lewis, while Christian, did not like the institutionalization of religion. He had some romantic ideals. “a sort of pre-baptism of the imagination… [that would] make it easier for children to accept Christianity when they met it later in life.” (Lewis) "I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday School associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could." - Lewis, “Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What‟s to be Said.” “Joy” – existential happiness Lewis was converted to Christianity by Tolkien  Story of Christ “begins and ends in joy” (Tolkien “On Fairy-Stories”)  Dyscastrophe (sorrow, loss)  Eucatastrophe (sudden happy ending that follows from Dyscatrophe o catastrophe: turn (in drama) Tolkien on eucatastrophe: “When the sudden „turn comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart‟s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame… and lets a gleam come through.” “[A] sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief” (Tolkine, “On Fairy Stories”) ENGB35 March 13, 2013 Gateway (the Wardrobe) Gateway vs. Conversion narrative  Makes it easier to accept teachings – not being beat over the head with a Bible Significance of setting  WW2; Professor‟s house “in the heart of the country, ten miles from
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