Posts Tagged With: Gollum

The Screwtape Letters – More from C.S. Lewis for Narnia Fans

screwtape 1C.S. Lewis may be best known for his seven children’s novels called The Chronicles of Narnia (which I adore by the way and have blogged on a few times already). However, another jewel in the crown of his literary and apologetic achievements is the notable epistolary novel The Screwtape Letters. Author C.S. Lewis masterfully composed letters from the fictional demon “Uncle Screwtape” to his nephew “Wormwood”. Screwtape offers diabolical advice on how to tempt Wormwood’s human assignment. Lewis writes letters solely from Screwtape’s perspective and cleverly alludes to what Wormwood has previously written.

Although the book was written for adults, teen readers may find themselves able to comprehend the underlying truths: “These letters from veteran devil Screwtape to his novice nephew Wormwood shed more humbling light on the spiritual weaknesses of people than they do on the state of supernatural beings. Wit and wisdom combine to aid us all to discern better the traps of the Evil One.” Honey for a Teen’s Heart by Barbara Hampton and Gladys Hunt

Our family enjoyed listening to the wonderful 2009 Focus on the Family Radio Theatre production of The Screwtape Letters with the vocal talents of Andy Serkis who played the character of Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films.

One must continually keep in mind that C.S. Lewis’ used the irony of “hearing from a devil” to stir our minds and hearts to encounter old truths in a fresh way. Hopefully, the following excerpts of the wit and wisdom of C.S. Lewis may whet your appetite to read or re-read this classic. (Screwtape refers to God as “the Enemy” in all his letters):

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“At present the Enemy says ‘Mine’ of everything on the pedantic, legalistic ground that He made it: Our Father hopes in the end to say ‘Mine’ of all things on the more realistic and dynamic ground of conquest.”

“All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged.”

“He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. In a word, the Future, is of all things, the thing least like eternity – for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”

“The aim is to guide each sex away from those members of the other with whom spiritually helpful, happy, and fertile marriage are most likely.”

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground.”

“He would therefore have them continually concerned with eternity…or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.”

Several articles from C.S. Lewis aficionado, Brenton Dickieson of www.apilgriminnarnia.com offer a more in-depth look at the Scewtape Letters. http://apilgriminnarnia.com/2014/01/20/impossible-beauty/

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Categories: British novels, Classics, Fantasy, Humorous, Inspiration, Read Aloud, young adult fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Hobbit: Fantasy and Real Life

The Hobbit began as a bedtime story for JRR Tolkien’s children.  It has a milder story arc than the Lord of the Rings trilogy and, therefore, is a great read-aloud for families whose younger children can absorb the peril of giant spiders, a wily and powerful dragon, and battle scenes.  Older teens and adults will receive enjoyment and insight from the book as well.  (My husband listened to it on audio just this past summer).

I found that reading The Hobbit aloud to my teen daughters recently offered not only the solidarity of sharing a great story, but also a new understanding of how our inner gifts and life purpose can be drawn out by others. Gandalf does this for Biblo Baggins, who sees himself as a simple hobbit in the Shire, living a safe and complacent life.  All of a sudden, he is thrust into an adventure and needed for skills he didn’t know he possessed.  Throughout the story, Bilbo saves the day.

Wow!  We all need to have others who will see our unique purposes and help us walk them out.  Like the biblical Gideon, sometimes we are “hiding in the wine vat”, just trying to get by and then we hear the voice of the angel: “Greetings, you mighty man (or woman) of God, the Lord is with you!”.

Beware, as Tolkien shows us, the road to fulfilling our destiny is fraught with difficulty.

The first of a two-part film adaptation of the book: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on December 14, 2012 by New Line Cinema, Warner Bros, and MGM.  I urge you to read the book first so that you receive the story as the author intended it to unfold – unabridged-  the plot intact with all the detailed descriptions and dialogue that define the characters.  Also, give yourself the fun experience of having certain scenes and  themes of the book jump off the pages right at you.  The movie. By contrast, is the product of  director Peter Jackson’s vision and how the story impacted him.

 Fun Fact: There are editions of his work that JRR Tolkien illustrated himself.  The Art of the Hobbit was published recently which contains his artwork. http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Hobbit-J-R-R-Tolkien/dp/0547928254

Categories: Children's Books, Classics, Fantasy, Inspiration, Read Aloud | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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