Over the past few decades, many scholars and casual readers have derided C.S. Lewis as a misogynist for the "expulsion" of Susan from Aslan's Country. However, closer examinations of Lewis's underlying philosophy and previous experiences with women lend us exceptional insight into his changing perspective as well as his portrayal of feminine characters. Written before his wildly popular The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis's science fiction or Ransom trilogy provides a glimpse into his developing talents as a fiction writer but also provides crucial commentary on the gender issues plaguing the twentieth century. This paper will investigate, through his correspondence, fiction, and nonfiction, the origins of Lewis's views on women and marriage in an attempt to redeem Lewis from the scathing sexist criticism he had previously received. Milton's Hierarchical Conception will be discussed, as well as an evolution of the term "Feminism." Finally, Jane Studdock, the flagrantly modern female from That Hideous Strength, will be juxtaposed with the tranquil, enigmatic Green Lady from Perelandra. Equipped with this information, we can better understand how Lewis crafted complex female characters and thus revere Jane Studdock to be thoroughly modern yet humbly obedient.
"MALEeldil and Mutual Society: A Modern Woman's Defense of Jane Studdock,"
Inklings Forever: Published Colloquium Proceedings 1997-2016: Vol. 9, Article 9.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol9/iss1/9