C.S. Lewis is nicer than me
by Andrea Elizabeth
If Part I of Gulliver’s Travels was uncouth, Part II progresses to be more and more pornagraphic, in a turn-off-y way. Nevertheless, I believe I can see similarities in structure to this “work” to C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy. Though the Green Lady in Perelandra was shocking, she was at least much more artfully painted. My original criticism of Out of the Silent Planet was that it was sort of field guide-ish too. It was less so at the end when he ascended to the upper regions. Paradise doesn’t read as forensic as places where there is lack. My favorite was That Hideous Strength because it was much more relational and less scientific; indeed forensic science was criticized. But all this goes with C.S. Lewis’ philosophy, if I understand it correctly since I haven’t gotten very far in The Preface to Paradise Lost, to study and repeat form, and to improve on content. I’m glad he didn’t stay so field guide-ish however.
I slept through much of Part III of GT because I felt I was in Star Wars’ The Empire Strikes Back’s floating city, my least favorite part of that movie. Though I’m not really interested in this book anymore after being offended and bored, I don’t think I can just toss it out without finishing it since it is on so many classical reading lists. I don’t understand how it can be called great, though. It is different and full of imaginitive play, much like Alice inWonderland, which is grotesque as well. I feel like people want to escape to the bizarre in these stories because they must be bored with their own world. I like some fantasy, like Narnia, Potter, LOTR, Star Trek and Star Wars, because they retain a link with common human experience, and are not some psychedelic mind trip. But Lewis bids me stay and study, so I guess I’ll have to relisten to the third part (which I don’t think is as graphic) and finish the book to get an A in his class. But this is not a children’s story. I know excerpts from the first part are in every kids’ education, but they should be warned not to read the whole thing until after they’re married, if at all. As much as physical relations between men and women are over-romanticized and inappropriately exploited, I don’t think the antidote is to make it disgusting.
One political commentary I did like, was when the King in the giant island was appalled at the idea of the effects of gunpowder, and wanted nothing to do with it.