Lewis’s Supernaturalism: Light and Darkness

  • Kath Filmer


An exploration of Lewis’s treatments of supernaturalism and the nature of good and evil in his fiction uncovers a rather perplexing conglomeration of images ranging from the transcendental to the gruesome. In particular, in Lewis’s depiction of evil, there is a concentration of violent and bloody imagery, often included with intensely horrifying descriptions of spiritual cannibalism. Lewis relishes these images and obviously finds them useful in depicting the devouring propensities of self-worship and ultimate evil. In this chapter, I discuss Lewis’s approach to supernaturalism as it appears in his fiction, and in the next I shall focus upon the way Lewis understands and portrays the concepts of good and evil.


Paradise Lost Holy Place Moral Absolutism Early Poem Hideous Strength 
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  1. 2.
    See Kath Filmer, ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci: Cultural Criticism and the Mythopoeic Imagination in Lilith’, in The Victorian Fantasists: Essays on Culture, Society and Belief in the Mythopoeic Literature of the Victorian Age, ed. Kath Filmer (London: Macmillan, 1991).Google Scholar
  2. 4a.
    These are the Stoic poets Aratus and Cleanthes. Cleanthes, son of Phanius of Assos, was head of the Stoic school from 263 to 232 BC; Aratus of Soli in Cicilia (315–240 BC) used the words in his Phaenomena 1:5, a poem on astronomy. The quotation could also be from Epimenides, the half-legendary Cretan bard and prophet of 500 BC (from the Syriac commentary of Isho’dad of Merv, quoted in E. M. Blaiklock, The Acts of the Apostles: An Historical Commentary (London: Tyndale, 1959, 145–46); alsoGoogle Scholar
  3. 4b.
    William Neil, The Acts of the Apostles (London: Oliphants, 1973, 191).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kath Filmer 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kath Filmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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