Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Philosophy and Religion

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to analyze how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien created mythology that is fundamentally Christian but in vastly different ways. This task will be accomplished by examining the childhood and early adult life of both Lewis and Tolkien, as well as the effect their close friendship had on their writing, and by performing a detailed literary analysis of some of their mythological works. After an introduction, the second and third chapters will scrutinize the elements of their childhood and adolescence that shaped their later mythology. The next chapter will look at the importance of their Christian faith in their writing process, with special attention to Tolkien’s writing philosophy as explained in “On Fairy-Stories.” The fifth chapter analyzes the effect that Lewis and Tolkien’s friendship had on their writing, in conjunction with the effect of their literary club, the Inklings. The next two chapters will provide a literary analysis of Lewis’s and Tolkien’s writing, with a special concentration on how they transformed their fairy-stories into Christian myths. The thesis will finish with a summary of the conclusions found through the examination of Lewis and Tolkien’s lives and the literary analysis of their mythology.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Joseph Trafton

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Philosophy | Religion

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