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#62699 - 04/02/02 02:57 PM Re: Shrek  
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TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Tolkiens work was inspired more by his in-depth knowledge of Norse and Germanic folklore more than his religious beliefs.


I'm not sure. These things are not mutually exclusive. I think his allegory is just not as transparent as Lewis'. It's not Christian allegory, per se, but more an allegory of the continuing battle of good vs evil, making sacrifices, is it moral to fight evil with evil (i.e. use the ring). I hadn't thought of the Norse and Germanic origins, but it seems obvious now that you point it out.



Chronicles of Narnia is christian allegory? I was a young devout Catholic when I read the series a good twenty years ago and I never made that connection. Where do the lion, the witch and the wardrobe fit into that comment?



To answer your question, the lion is Jesus Christ, the witch is Lucifer, and the wardrobe is the plain (or plane) on which the battle for the soul transpires. If I recall the Lion dies and is resurrected in the very first book. And in the last book they all go to heaven. If you were to read them again now, I'm sure it would be very obvious to you.

Even though I see it as Christian propaganda, I still highly recommend the entire series to young and old alike. I've read the first five books to my kids and they enjoyed them quite a bit. And I read the whole series to myself when I was maybe 20 or 22.




whimsical stories for children and adults alike referencing earlier influences from which their authors most probably drew.


Well, yea. It causes me some mental duress to try to see things from their perspective, because for the life of me it seems utterly ludicrous.

I mentioned that I grew up in a pretty conservative environment myself, so I'm kinda used to being around people whose views may seem skewed to the great bulk of humanity. And I doubt not a whit that some of my own opinions would be similarly assessed and dismissed. But I was at a brat meeting a few years back. (Brats are the children of military personnel.) I was at a table with some other former brats - I'm used to the nationalistic comments and the occasional intolerant remark - but I was really floored when one of the group began talking about HP and how Rowling had not really written the works herself. Not at all. It was actually the Devil hisself that wrote those books through her hand, via a process called automatic writing. I thought he was kidding at first, but he never dropped the pretense. And what was worse is that the others at the table were each nodding their heads in a vigorous up and down motion.

Being the unprincipled person that I am, I held my tongue and listened to him continue this rant for some time, with vocal and animated gestural encouragement from the assembled company. See, it's a clever ploy by the devil to make children think that magic is not dangerous, so they'll be tempted to try it themselves. It's all part of the same insidious plot that brought us Dungeons and Dragons. FOR GOD'S SAKE, the spells in that evil HP series are *REAL* spells! Don't you understand that? It's all real! That bastard is teaching *REAL* spells to *OUR* children! How can I make you understand this simple fact? The consequences of failing to recognize and thwart this diabolical plan will be terrible and irreparable. If you don't go back to your home right now and send out letters to prominent authorities protesting these books and demanding that they be expunged from our shelves of our public school libraries, you will be playing right into the hands of Satan himself! This fellow actually has pamphlets back home that explain all this to you and he'd be happy to mail them to you.

I wish this were satire, but I couldn't make anything like this up. I don't think there's enough fertilizer on the planet to inspire this. I suspect it's not the fertilizer so much as a particular kind of mushroom that gets mixed in with it that fosters this sort of imagination.

k



#62700 - 04/02/02 03:04 PM Re: Shrek  
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TheFallibleFiend Offline
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Regarding Shrek:

It's only a bit of fun.


I absolutely agree.


k




#62701 - 04/02/02 04:19 PM Re: Shrek  
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wwh Offline
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Dear FF: Belief in magic by adults would be laughable, if it were not for the fact that groups of them can be dangerous. The terrorists willing to commit suicide in the belief that they will be rewarded with 72 virgins in the hereafter exemplify this.


#62702 - 04/02/02 06:01 PM The devil made her do it???  
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FF:

I too have run into people like that; south of here we had a fundy preacher burning the HP books page by page in front of a group of six- to twelve-year-olds, all chanting in unison, "Burn in hell, burn in hell, burn in hell" as the pages were fed into the barbecue.

On the other hand, we have a prominent leader who is truly protecting the morality of our fellow citizens by draping statues in the great hall at the Department of Justice to prevent the viewing of naked b----ts. This is the same person who says of the eventual trials of the "detainees" at Camp X-Ray, "Even if they are found not guilty, I have no intention of releasing them." Of course that's not really going to become an issue because conviction is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Wee, I must run to an organizational meeting of MMM, Make Mastectomy Mandatory. We just got a large donation from Enfamil, and we're going to start pushing for laws to lop off the breasts of all females at puberty. Just think, we'll cut down on the energy wasted in adolescent masturbation, women can save money by not having to buy brasseires, and no more concerns about breat cancer.

TEd



TEd
#62703 - 04/02/02 07:55 PM Re: The devil made her do it???  
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It brings out the worst in me. I can tolerate anything (well almost) except intolerance. I've seen JK Rowling speak several times now. One point that she made quite strongly is that she gets letters from time to time from people who assume that:
a) she believes in magic - she doesn't (every now and then she comes across someone who gives her a knowing look and asks about ingredients for spells - she tells them very clearly that IT IS ALL MADE UP)
b) she thinks that boarding schools are a good thing - she doesn't, it is just that children are not allowed to have adventures in the real world (I've mentioned this before). They are barely allowed to cross the street without an adult.

By the way Helen, if you find Hermione at all unsympathetic it may be because she is based on the author, who describes herself as a bookworm at school. Hermione may have her head in a book but she is not a sneak and she does get better as the books go on, honest!

#62704 - 04/02/02 10:42 PM Re: Shrek  
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Keiva Offline
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Chronicles of Narnia is christian allegory? I never made that connection.
If you were to read them again now, I'm sure it would be very obvious to you.

Very much so.

When my children were small, I made a practice of reading all the books that they were reading. Intending to given them those Chronicles, had the foresight to read the entire seven volumes first. The parable doesn't become evident until the final volume, but there it is striking.

Expressing no objection to proselytizing literature, I did and do think it quite a bit forward to proselytize to children in a form disguised from their parents.



#62705 - 04/02/02 11:19 PM Re: Shrek  
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Dear Keiva: I am sure that in your place I would have been seriously annoyed to find a proselyting message in a book meant for children, where no warning had been given. Particularly if it were spelled out clearly enough that my children were likely to be influenced by it. But that would make it propaganda, and unlikely to sell at all well, and likely to provoke widespread condemnation.


#62706 - 04/02/02 11:30 PM Re: Narnia  
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hev Offline
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Chronicles, had the foresight to read the entire seven volumes first. The parable doesn't become evident until the final volume, but there it is striking.

Guess it depends on your background, Keiva. For me, the parable was *quite* apparent, right from the first book, but then ... that was the world I grew up in. FWIW, I loved escaping into the wardrobe with the kids, in my imagination. (I even got to be one of the animal characters in a puppet show of TLW&W.. such fun!) I think the fact that the Narnia series - like HP - appeals to both children and adolts (sic) alike, is the genius of it. IMHO.

Hev

post-edit: I think I made it sound like I lived in Narnia. Only in my dreams ...

#62707 - 04/03/02 12:21 AM Re: Narnia  
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Keiva Offline
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Dear Hev,

In the words of FF, "Usually I'm pretty dense about noticing things that are very obvious to most everyone else." [ at self -e]


#62708 - 04/03/02 01:44 AM Re: Shrek  
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Jazzoctopus Offline
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Tolkiens work was inspired more by his in-depth knowledge of Norse and Germanic folklore more than his religious beliefs.

Though Tolkein was certainly a religious person, he said himself that his religion had no impact whatsoever on his writing. He said he wanted to create a new mythology for the British Isles, based, I suppose, loosely on the pre-existing legends. The main backbone of his stories was the languages that he created. He was a lingusitics professor, ya know. He also just wanted to create his own little (read vast and complex) world. Don't we all?


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