Words that Linger…

During a recent church service I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in some time.  The topic of our conversation quickly turned from my assessment of Thor:  The Dark World to the larger ranging idea of truth communicated through myth.  This is where things got interesting.

My friend is a English and Literature teacher in the DC Metro area.  As I talked about recently finishing biographies on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien – which overlap a lot when discussing the effect of myth, faerie stories, and fantasy on the understanding both men had of the world and what they would both go on to write –  she mentioned the “Christ-figure” theory that exists in literary criticism.  This is the idea that authors often, albeit unintentional in most cases, craft figures in their works that reflect the character of Jesus.  Specifically, she mentioned the book A Separate Peace (which I hadn’t read since high school).

I mentioned how it’s very easy for me to peer deeper into the substance of a superhero – or epic/mythic – film because of my grasp of the idea that Tolkien and Lewis espoused and that I naturally gravitate that direction.  It’s here that my friend admits that she is often able to peer deeper into movies as well, but never really considered the superhero genre to be capable of that.  Intrigued, I asked what changed her perspective and got an answer I didn’t expect:  The Avengers film by Joss Whedon.  Fascinated now, I asked her to explain how the film changed her thinking and learned that I actually had something to do with it.

In 2013, I led two discussions on The Avengers film and delved into some of the themes within the film and talked of how elements of the film reflected the One True Myth (Tolkien’s designation for Christianity) and other literature such as Milton’s Paradise Lost; my friend was present at one of the discussions.  I had no idea at the time, but the discussion of redemption – the desire for it – via Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) and Loki and my wondering out loud if Black Widow achieved redemption (if that was even possible for her) really stuck out to this English teacher.  In her words, “that lingered with me for a long time”.

Who’d have thought that a superhero film could actually be the portal for someone seeing the world in a new light; I know it’s possible, but it just isn’t witnessed first0-hand everyday.

For heroism or villainy – for good or for ill – what do you speak that lingers with others?

Posted on by Aaron in Uncategorized

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

3 Responses to Words that Linger…

  1. Don Trachsel

    Great read…yet very convicting. Most at my work know about my faith and many of them know of my Star Wars geekdom. My conviction is me not bridging Vaders redemption to that of our own redemption…..looks like a future subject for your blog.

  2. Aaron

    Actually I wrote on that subject a few years back; it was a project that took a solid afternoon to construct, but one that had been brewing for a long, long time. I think it turned out rather well. You might also want to take a look at some of the writing I did about James Earl Jones after hearing him speak live in DC two years ago.

    • Don Trachsel

      Written very well it was.
      I sometimes post on an X-wing Miniatures forun and would like to link that post to my profile. May I have your promission to put up a link?

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