Tolkien and Lewis

Here you'll find polls, games and other fun conversation starters
Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Post by Merry » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:00 am

Aragorn can take up all the air in my room any time he wants! 8)

Spock is the analyzer, Kirk is the promoter/controller, McCoy and Ohura were supporters. George was the analyzer, John the promoter, Paul the controller, and Ringo the supporter, maybe?

Not sure how this might work with the Narnia kids! I suppose that Ed was a controller, in a way. Lucy was the promoter--interesting!

I'm not sure these were the categories I remember, but they are close: the power, the brains, the heart, the clown?
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Airwin
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: Misty Mountains

Post by Airwin » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:55 am

Riv Res, I would agree with the categorization of the LOTR fellowship, although I think Aragorn might also fit in the Analyzer category, since he didn't really want to rule anyone. (It would be fun to explore this further, perhaps separate from the Narnia discussion?)

As for Narnia, my thoughts would be as follows:

Analyzer: Aslan
Promotors: Lucy, Edmund (although he wasn't too much fun to be around in the beginning)
Supporters: Susan, perhaps Edmund (with the definitions given, his purpose is kind of blurry to me)
Controllers: Peter

But just to clarify, are we just talking about LW&W or all the Narnia books? I don't think the children are in all books and I've only just started reading the 3rd one (which only has Ed, Lucy, and their cousin).
Namarie,

Airwin

Riv Res
Manwë
Posts: 2111
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:35 am
Location: Walking the fields of the Pelennor with the King

Post by Riv Res » Mon Jan 02, 2006 1:09 pm

Airwin wrote:Riv Res, I would agree with the categorization of the LOTR fellowship, although I think Aragorn might also fit in the Analyzer category, since he didn't really want to rule anyone. (It would be fun to explore this further, perhaps separate from the Narnia discussion?)
Airwin, at the risk of getting into a book vs movie discussion here (and our purpose is to discuss Tolkien not Peter Jackson's interpretation), I would have to disagree a wee bit about Aragorn. Tolkien's Aragorn has fully accepted his heritage and his rights (powers) and responsibilities. He is confident in the knowledge that his life has purpose and destiny. It is only Peter Jackson's interpretation of Aragorn that has him indecisive and reluctant.

Thoughts? :D

Airwin
Posts: 171
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: Misty Mountains

Post by Airwin » Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:39 pm

Riv Res,

Please forgive my faulty memory. I certainly didn't intend to discuss the movie. I've seen it so many times now that I keep getting details mixed up! :oops: I remembered the reason for his travels prior to finding Gollum for Gandalf was in part to come to terms with his heritage and destiny, but perhaps I remembered wrong. I do realize the book Aragorn is not the same as the movie Aragorn is portrayed. But still it wouldn't hurt for me to read the books again! :)
Namarie,

Airwin

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Post by Merry » Mon Jan 02, 2006 10:33 pm

It's easy for all of us to view the books through the movies, Airwin. Same with Narnia--it has really been a long time since I read those! If the movie is faithful, Peter was also reluctant to assume the kingship.

I think that in the genre of literature that Tolkien drew from most, it was not considered unusual or arrogant or ambitious for the rightful king to want to claim the throne. (At Writers of Rohan, another Tolkien website at which I participate, we had such a long and sometimes heated argument over whether Aragorn was ambitious or not that we now refer to it as the 'A-word'!)
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

bruce rerek
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:16 pm
Location: Brooklyn
Contact:

Post by bruce rerek » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:02 pm

I am just about finished with 7th Narnian books. I found most of them charming and very insightful to an ethos that I honor. Compared to Tolkien, I fear this work doesn't have near the range or depth, and forgive me if I might offend Narnian lovers, but I wanted more mature and adult characters. This does not deminish the Narnian characters or what Lewis held as good and virtuous.
I could not help to notice how both Lewis and Rowlings use similar character types such as centaurs who can read the heavens and predict the future. Lewis also had his creation sung into existence as did Tolkien. What makes fantastic creatures so induring? What is it about being flung into a struggle not of one's making so compelling? What longings and aspirations do these authors speak to?
Bruce
Mornie utlie
Believe and you will find your way
Mornie alantie
a promise lives within you now

Kirill Leonov
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Mordor *g*

Post by Kirill Leonov » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:56 am

Agreed. The Narnia series is just a fairytale for children. I was too old when I read two of the books, I was 13 I think, and I had read LotR already, so they had no charm to me. It was a world without the "inner logic" that you find in the fantasy genre. Moreover, what bothered me personally is how Christian religion gets flung at you so blatantly in Lewis's books, and things like Father Christmas telling the girls that they get no weapons because wars where women fight are ugly - hello, what about wars where children fight???
I guess those books have an appeal to younger children, but to me they had none, not after Tolkien, which just was "the real thing" to me.
Tracking the sun in his galleon and travelling the skies
'Til his splendour was shorn by the birth of morn and he died with the dawn in his eyes

marbretherese
Posts: 765
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:42 pm
Location: Middle England
Contact:

Post by marbretherese » Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:11 pm

Kirill Leonov wrote: I guess those books have an appeal to younger children, but to me they had none, not after Tolkien, which just was "the real thing" to me.
I felt the same way, Kirill, when I re-read the Narnia books again recently after more than forty years. My ten-year-old self loved the books but to me, they're simply not in the same league as Tolkien!
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Post by Merry » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:39 pm

Tolkien felt the same way about the Narnia books, especially the superficial treatment of Christianity.
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Kirill Leonov
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Mordor *g*

Post by Kirill Leonov » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:45 pm

Marbretherese, I don't know if you know Astrid Lindgren's "Brothers Lionheart". I loved the book when I was 9 years old, like the younger brother (who is the narrator), but once I was 13 like the elder brother, the charm was broken - all the things he could do seemed so illogical to me when he was just a child... And I used to love that book when I was 9, it was my favourite. So I know exactly what you mean.

Glad to agree with The Professor, then. :) I really disliked that preaching, moralising tone Lewis takes at times, and that all is drawn in black and white (and Edmund gets to be first black, then white, which really doesn't change the black and white at all).

That fairytale stale also affects the movies... they don't really have an appeal to me (and not only because of the lame fight scenes :lol: ). Nicely made, but not a world that draws me in. It lacks that inner logic that should hold a good fantasy world together. For my taste, if you want magic in a fantasy world, you should define its rules, so to say, if you get my meaning. If you want talking animals, make them into an actual species with culture and stuff. And for the Valar's sake, if you want children being superheroes, explain where they got their bloody powers!!! Besides, a world without humans isn't such a good idea because the reader just can't relate that well. It's just liek George Lucas said: even for a very remote sci-fi film you need elements people will recognise and are able to relate to, or else it just seems strange and abstract and has no effect at all (also where Stanley Kubrick went wrong with his Clockwork Orange adaption, in my opinion: he edited all the "natural" stuff out and sort of made it very strange, so that one totally can't relate anymore...).
Tracking the sun in his galleon and travelling the skies
'Til his splendour was shorn by the birth of morn and he died with the dawn in his eyes

marbretherese
Posts: 765
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:42 pm
Location: Middle England
Contact:

Post by marbretherese » Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:27 pm

Kirill Leonov wrote:Marbretherese, I don't know if you know Astrid Lindgren's "Brothers Lionheart".
I've heard of Astrid Lindgren but I don't think I've read any of her books. I think one of the reasons I find Lewis's Narnia tales so disappointing as an adult is their lack of depth, and the absence of any real warmth. Even Tolkien's simplest tales have a richness - because of his wonderful sense of humour, the underlying mythology present in most of his work, and the way he introduced word-play and subjects which interested him even when he was writing outside of his mythology.
"Torment in the dark was the danger that I feared, and it did not hold me back.
But I would not have come, had I known the danger of light and joy."


http://www.marbretherese.com
http://marbretherese.blogspot.com/

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Post by Merry » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:04 pm

Yes! These are great insights. I think when JRRT wrote that he disliked allegory, he must have had Lewis in mind. However, JRRT also said that LOTR was a fundamentally Catholic work, and I've spent many a pleasant hour trying to figure out what he meant. Many people look at Tolkien as we look at Lewis, thinking he is black and white and moralizing. (Of course, they are wrong. 8) )

Totally agree about 'Clockwork Orange', Kirill. (My memories of it are very old, but I remember thinking there were no good people in it to relate to, and that my grad school roommate and I had to get drunk on vodka after seeing it because it was so disturbing!)
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Philipa
Ulmo
Posts: 1866
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:03 pm
Location: Surfing on the OO or hanging with the Teleri
Contact:

Post by Philipa » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:59 am

Interesting but I can not move myself to even compare the two bodies of work. Everyone here has said what I feel but let's face it, Lewis wrote for children and Tolkien did not. We can not compare the two styles of stories because of it.

As for the allegory, you'd have to be blind not to see it in the Lewis books. But my children didn't see it because their not Christian. It wasn't until I pointed that out (they were 8 when we read it together) that they understood. They were more disturbed that the children were fighting in wars.
Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!

Thoughts from Eryn Lasgalen An online guide to all things Tolkien

Kirill Leonov
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:05 am
Location: Mordor *g*

Post by Kirill Leonov » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:05 pm

Well, Tolkien certainly has a kind of underlying morality, but it's not that blatant, it is more "the values in the background".
And he allows his heroes to be "shades of grey" - take Boromir, or Denethor. Gollum is not evil either. And Saruman has been corrupted and is not shown as bad from the start. Altogether, Tolkien shows that everybody can be corrupted - has not Galadriel desired the Ring for a long time, does Gandalf not fear to touch it, does Frodo not give in to temptation at last? He is less black and white and more complex.
When comparing the religiosity in those works, it is like Lewis were a fundamentalist (I know that's harsh, but just look at what happens to Susan in the end - no chance of redemption, which Jesus does not preach, as far as I know), and Tolkien a pious man who does not judge others lightly but sets high standards for himself.
Last edited by Kirill Leonov on Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tracking the sun in his galleon and travelling the skies
'Til his splendour was shorn by the birth of morn and he died with the dawn in his eyes

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Post by Iolanthe » Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:11 pm

I think that's a very astute comment about Tolkien, Kirill.

I always felt bad about Susan. I identified with her and even as a child the way she was excluded at the end hurt and puzzled me. Too heavyhanded a way to make a complex point that's not, I think, suitable for young children who've made heroes of the characters. I think that was a misjudgement on his part.
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Post Reply