Surprised By Joy By Lewis And Confessions

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Surprised by Joy by Lewis and Confessions by Augustine are not two works that are often analyzed side by side although they are both autobiographical and written by men greatly influential to the Christian faith. Since Confessions contains many different elements which Augustine explores to better understand the nature of God, this paper will focus on Augustine’s section “Happiness (Beatta Vita)” as compared and contrasted with Lewis’ chapters “Checkmate” and “Beginning”. A preliminary glance of these works may lead the reader to think that they are very similar, despite the differences in publishing time, Surprised By Joy was published in 1955, while Confessions was published in 398 AD. This is not entirely false, as both “Checkmate”, “Beginning” and “Happiness” are all largely focused on the relationship of God and joy and utilize a similar structure. Although Augustine and Lewis’ four-part structure initially appears complimentary because of similar themes, these structures contrast as a result of differing allegories.
At first, Augustine and Lewis’ structural methods for “Happiness” and “Checkmate” seem similar. Both rely on a four-part structure in order to explain their process for understanding joy. The first part of Augustine’ structure is to place joy as a universal concept. This is because, in Augustine’s mind, joy is something that transcends all language and cultural barriers. Macdonald describes this first component of Augustine’ structure as “Everyone wants to

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