Re-Defining C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman: Conventional and Progressive Heroes and Heroines in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and The Golden Compass

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Virginia Tech


C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman are two very popular authors of British Children's Fantasy. Their books The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and The Golden Compass straddle the period of writing that Karen Patricia Smith calls the Dynamic Stage of British Fantasy: from 1950 to the present. Both of these books are part of a larger series and both have been made into recent motion pictures by Hollywood. This paper explores these two books through the lens of their conventional and progressive authors. I discuss in detail the gifts that the heroes and heroines are given, the setting of these books, and the function of destiny and prophecy in order to explore the irony of these books: C.S. Lewis, often viewed as the more conventional author by scholars, is in fact more progressive than his contemporary counterpart.



C.S Lewis, Philip Pullman, heroes and heroines, conventional, progressive