musicimprovedme started this thread with the following post:
posted on 24/2/2003 at 08:27
Would anyone care to engage in a conversation about the similarities and differences between Tolkien and CS Lewis and/or Middle Earth and Narnia?
It seems a relevant topic because the two authors were contemporaries, even friends...and both transcended the previous standards of the fantasy novel.
I personally think that Middle Earth is a much more detailed place and maybe even more well thought out. And while Tolkien gave his readers the freedom to make any conclusion that they like about what his stories represent, Lewis' ideas were more locked into a religious overtone...what with Aslan giving off SERIOUS God vibes and all and his Godliness is all wrapped up in that one character (Creator/Messiah/Sovereign), whereas Tolkien kind of distributed the divine characteristics throughout his characters. I think Chronicles of Narnia is more within the grasp of a younger reader. I think for me, Lewis tugged a little harder at my heart, whereas Tolkien has been largely a brain exercise for me...so far anyway.
Thoughts from anyone who's read both?
Chronicles of Narnia were written essentially as children's books, like the Hobbit, whilst LOTR was meant for more mature audiences. The shift in style from The Hobbit to LOTR was rather obvious.rrYou're definitely right about Lewis' works being religious. Chronicles of Narnia has been largely hailed as Christian literature. Pretty much everything was based on his beliefs, from the ideology, moral values to the choice of animal. Aslan as a lion was not just to showthe majesty of the ruler, but it was really an interpretation of the "Lion of Judah", or Jesus Christ himself. In The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the later chapters even had the entire crucifixion of Christ played out through the death and resurrection of Aslan. Lewis intended these books to be Christian literature.rrTolkien on the other hand wanted to create a myth. Hence his works had to have a certain level of detail to make believable.rrAs far as divine characteristics are concerned, I think it's largely due to the fact that Lewis was a Protestant and Tolkien was Catholic. Protestant ideology focused absolutely on the divine nature of the Trinity, emphasizing on the role of Christ. Hence Lewis' approach in the creation of Aslan. Tolkien on the other hand distributed this divine nature as Catholic ideology distributed this nature to the angelic beings as well as to various saints. Furthermore, Tolkien was largely into the study of various mythologies, and this influenced his works greatly.rrI think the chief difference between the 2 postAuthorIDs' works is that Lewis' is more symbolic in approach and Tolkien's is more realistic in nature. Hence the sense that Tolkien's work is more detailed. And the creation of the various languages certainly helped in making it more believable.rr[Edited on 25/2/2003 by Erkenbrand]