One of C.S. Lewis's works of fiction, or more specifically allegory, this book is modelled upon Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress", as Lewis satirizes ...Show synopsisOne of C.S. Lewis's works of fiction, or more specifically allegory, this book is modelled upon Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress", as Lewis satirizes different sections of the Church. Included in the tale is the City of Claptrap, and the far-off marsh of the Theosophists.Hide synopsis
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Lewis became a confirmed atheist in university, and it was only as a professor and in close friendship with Tolkien that he began to consider the matter of God again. Once he realized that God is real and that he, Lewis, was a sinner in need of a Savior, he looked back at his life and all the writers and philosophies he had studied, and he wrote this allegory to show the world where he'd gone wrong. It is excellent--humorous, wry, sad...much like the Pilgrim's Progress that he plays off of with this book.
A book that is as useful for understanding Lewis's personal experience as his autobiography, Surprised by Joy. He takes up some of the same themes, this time defining his desire for God as Romanticism, which he later calls Joy. The story is of the journey of the character John, as he searches for something to fulfill that desire for something he can't yet define. He meets a variety of characters who reflect philosophies that Lewis considered before becoming a Christian. For example, there are characters who represent Freudians, Epicureans, Classicists. Through the adventure John realizes that things such as sex, knowledge, aesthetic beauty, do not fulfill that desire.
The story is told as an allegory, modeled after John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, because, as Lewis writes in the Afterword: "But in fact all good allegory exists not to hide but reveal; to make the inner world more palpable by giving it an (imagined) concrete embodiment.... For when allegory is at its best, it approaches myth, which must be grasped with the imagination, not with the intellect." (208) Nonetheless, it is engages the intellect too.
The book is written in allegory and may be hard to follow but if interested in philosophy and religion then this is the book for you. It gives an honest approach of one mans journey through spiritual progression to his faith and not without an honest appraisal of all the faiths of the world.
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