The idea of love in the writings of C.S. Lewis

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Sauders, Paulette G.
Schumacher, Paul J.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)
Department of English
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C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963) wrote both fiction and non-fiction, both essays and books throughout his life. The purpose of this study is to examine the fiction he wrote for adults in light of his expository statements about love found in his "Equality," "The Weight of Glory," Mere Christianity, and, especially, The Four Loves to see if his fiction consistently presents the same ideas about love.The body of the paper examines Till We Have Faces, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength to see if his ideas about love are included in them and to see if his ideas about love changed or developed over the years of his writing.After examining Lewis's works (excluding the Narnian Chronicles), from his earliest writings in 1936 to his latest writings in 1963, this paper concludes that Lewis's ideas about love are clearly manifested in all of his fiction, that these ideas did not change or develop over the years, and that the various kinds of love and their perversions that he treats in The Four Loves are found in the themes of his novels and consistently personified in his characters.In fact, love is the core of Lewis's writings, especially his fiction. Love is the "peg" upon which he hung all of his plots and themes and characterizations. Understanding Lewis's systematic "doctrine" of love will help any reader understand his fiction.