Title

A Critique of C.S. Lewis: Cleverly Comprehensible or Childishly Condensed

Presenter Information

Jane E. CliffordFollow

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Anastasia Turner

Campus

Gainesville

Proposal Type

Presentation - completed/ongoing

Subject Area

English/Communications

Start Date

9-4-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

9-4-2014 11:00 AM

Description/Abstract

As possibly the most influential Christian writer of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis drew his readers in with his simplistic, yet thought-provoking, writing style. While most known for his popular series The Chronicles of Narnia, he dedicated the majority of his career as both a philosophical and theological author, addressing many of life’s greatest questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Is there a God? Etc. The genius of Lewis was his ability to often ask and answer those questions without the reader anticipating it. He wrote for people during the mid-1900s, but continues to impact the world today through his writings with his use of symbolism through story and his constant ability to both directly and indirectly address Christian themes throughout his works. Many people criticize him for his straightforward style. Claiming that he is unable to make a complex subject simplistic and that in the end he is deceiving people. I argue that these statements are unfounded and Lewis’s clear writing through symbolism has lead to people seeing from new perspectives and reached readers who wouldn’t have turned a page otherwise. Lewis understood that people listen, pay attention, and focus more when entertained, but his works were more than popular, they were, and continue to be, influential. His symbolism through story can have the power to change people’s thoughts, minds, and ideas, especially today, in an age were everything is televised, texted, and tweeted.

Note to Conference Administrators

Due to confusion I accidentally revised this previous submission instead of submitting my intended abstract for this years ARC conference. I have changed it back to it's original form and hopefully submitted my current abstract in the proper form.

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Apr 9th, 10:00 AM Apr 9th, 11:00 AM

A Critique of C.S. Lewis: Cleverly Comprehensible or Childishly Condensed

As possibly the most influential Christian writer of the 20th century, C.S. Lewis drew his readers in with his simplistic, yet thought-provoking, writing style. While most known for his popular series The Chronicles of Narnia, he dedicated the majority of his career as both a philosophical and theological author, addressing many of life’s greatest questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Is there a God? Etc. The genius of Lewis was his ability to often ask and answer those questions without the reader anticipating it. He wrote for people during the mid-1900s, but continues to impact the world today through his writings with his use of symbolism through story and his constant ability to both directly and indirectly address Christian themes throughout his works. Many people criticize him for his straightforward style. Claiming that he is unable to make a complex subject simplistic and that in the end he is deceiving people. I argue that these statements are unfounded and Lewis’s clear writing through symbolism has lead to people seeing from new perspectives and reached readers who wouldn’t have turned a page otherwise. Lewis understood that people listen, pay attention, and focus more when entertained, but his works were more than popular, they were, and continue to be, influential. His symbolism through story can have the power to change people’s thoughts, minds, and ideas, especially today, in an age were everything is televised, texted, and tweeted.