God In The Looking Glass: Theme, Structure, And Authorial Intent In C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles Of Narnia And Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials

Date of Graduation

Summer 2000


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Joel Chaston


There is, perhaps, no larger question for humanity than the one which asks: What is the nature of God, and what is the relationship of God to humanity? Of the religiously oriented fantasy texts for young readers that address this question, two of the most significant are C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. These writers present very different views of the relationship between humanity and God. This thesis examines selected works of these two writers in order to achieve three goals. First is an exploration of how Lewis and Pullman use the elements of fantasy to present their unique views on the nature of the Divine. Second, a comparison of the two series will show how the series are similar in structure, theme, and the use of literary devices, but with vastly different results. Finally, by using personal interviews with Philip Pullman to discuss Lewis's influence in his writing, it will demonstrate how Pullman's His Dark Materials serves as a deliberate overall response to Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. Ultimately, this thesis will help show that these two series are best read as companion pieces in order to develop a true understanding of either C.S. Lewis's work or that of Philip Pullman.

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


© David C. Morgan