Stories Make the World Go 'Round

The Effects of C.S. Lewis on This English Major

So I’m doing a presentation tomorrow in my Creative Writing class on one of the authors I want to emulate this semester, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that C.S. Lewis is not only an author I want to emulate, but also an author who inspired my love for reading. C.S. Lewis is potentially one of the most brilliant authors of his time. I adore how beautifully, but simply he expresses not only deep thoughts and ideas, but character development and description and everything else about writing. He is just a beautiful author with a beautiful way of expressing himself. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for C.S. Lewis.

Most of you know that I love books. If you’ve seen my bookshelf, you would agree with me. My fellow English majors actually make fun of me for how many books I have, and how much I love books. I am constantly walking into my professors offices, seeing books lining the shelves, and (not so) internally freaking out because of all the books. Books are really my thing. I love books, movies, TV shows—I love stories. The world revolves around them. Well, the world revolves around THE story, but that still proves my point. Anyways, I love stories. Where did this love of books come from?

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It all started with this picture. I’m probably about 4 here, and I’m holding a copy of the Chronicles of Narnia. Why? It doesn’t have pages upon pages of fantastic pictures. I didn’t know how to read. So I was basically carrying a book full of pages full of words that I couldn’t read, sprinkled with a couple illustrations here and there. Why would a 4 year old child do something so weird? Well, my mother had read The Chronicles of Narnia to me around that age, and I was in love with them. I couldn’t get enough of the stories. I was so fascinated by these four children who got into a magical land through a wardrobe, a great lion called Aslan who conquered the White Witch and came back from the dead, and the fantastic adventures these characters had. The world of Narnia fascinated me. The characters inspired me. I was in love with those books. So even though I couldn’t read them, I carried them around, because I wanted to read them. I wanted to be able to immerse myself in those wonderful stories. I didn’t want to have to wait for Mom to decide to read them to me again, I wanted to read them myself. This began my love affair with books.

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Here I am again, with an entirely different book, doing the exact same thing. See, C.S. Lewis sparked in me a love for everything literary and wonderful that I haven’t ever been able to shake. I loved books so much that I begged my mother to teach me to read, so she began homeschooling me earlier than she was planning to. And I learned to read. As soon as I learned to read, I went to the library and grabbed all the books I could. I would go to the library with Mom and come home with huge stacks of books, and the thing was, I would read them all. I mean, they were pretty short, so it wasn’t hard. But I read and read.

Here I am today, sitting in the coffee shop at Southern Wesleyan University, studying here as an English Major, where I get to read books for my major. I wouldn’t be here in the English Department at SWU if it weren’t for C.S. Lewis. If he hadn’t sparked my love for reading,  I would probably be at Clemson studying some sort of science or something, and I would have the most boring room ever, for a room devoid of books is a very boring room.

C.S. Lewis was perhaps the most influential author in my life. He not only wrote an elaborate and beautiful magical world so well that a 3-4 year old could adore it, but he also wrote something so deep and powerful but still so magical and simple that almost 21 year old me still adores—probably more than I did as a child. I can now appreciate the depth and richness of C.S. Lewis’s work more than I did as a child. I’m constantly amazed at how I can read The Chronicles of Narnia and still get something out of them, more than I have the first fifteen times I’ve read them. I’m amazed at how deep and rich the stories are, yet how simple and perfect they are for children. I love that he simply couldn’t keep his faith out of his writing. The whole story of Narnia is littered with Christian allegories, and themes.  Every time you read them, you can gain something profound, a beautiful understanding of a Christian truth, a marvelous theme, or a wonderful character to look up to. C.S. Lewis truly has created masterpieces in his literature that I’m pleased to say have inspired me to greatness.

Everything I’ve read by C.S. Lewis has been so magical and wonderful, so deep and beautifully worded, a marvelously crafted piece of literature that could certainly stand the test of time. He writes about deep theological concepts in his fiction in a way that makes it so easy to recieve and enjoy. I’ve been reading through the Space Trilogy and It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever read. The more I read from him, the more I love reading and long to write something myself. His passion for theology, his love of literature and mythologies, his talent in writing have made him one of the most endearing authors in my life. So when my English Professor told us that we had to do two presentations, both on an author that inspired us and that we wanted to imitate, I couldn’t not talk about C.S. Lewis. Because while I personally think that no one can or should attempt to copy C.S. Lewis, he has not only been extremely influential in my life, he has also been a wonderful inspiration in my writing.

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