On Fairy Stories by J.R.R Tolkien is the single most inspiring article I have recently read. His logic can seem somewhat offensive at first, however it later persuades the readers to correlate the Resurrection story of Jesus and fairytales. The similarities provide a deeper understanding of the nature of the Resurrection story; Jesus died for our sins on the cross, and ascended into heaven on the third day. Tolkien makes three major points to explain his logic.
First of all, fairytales are not just for children. The modern society assumes that there are special connections between children and fairytales. However, the two were connected through domestic history. Fairytales were put in nursery rooms, because the adults did not care for their misuse. The truth is, some adults, and some children are innate with the taste for fairytales, and are naturally attracted to them.
Human beings are especially attracted to fairytales because it provides an "Escape from Death." The utopian settings in fairytales provide an escape from the fear of death and the end of life on Earth. Apart from the fugitive escape, fairytales possess the "Consolation of an Happy Ending." No matter how adventurous, or dangerous the tragedy, plots take a sudden joyous turn after the tragedy happens. Tolkien refers to this turn as the Eucatastrophe. Eucatastrophe is a sudden turn towards the good, which happens after a dire situation, and most importantly the good always wins.
Last but not least, all stories have an “Inner Consistency of Reality.” All authors sub create a world that derives from, or flows into reality. The incredible, or unrealistic joys in fairytales are “A Sudden Glimpse of Underlying Reality or Truth.” The world characters live in are not completely random, or irrelevant, but a continuation of the reality we live in.
The Resurrection story of Jesus is a larger kind of story which embraces all the essence of fairytales mentioned above. The Resurrection is the Eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. After the crucifixion, Christians are dire, however the ascension of Jesus is the sudden turn towards the good. In addition, it contains a happy ending, and the “Inner Consistency of Reality.” In God’s kingdom the greatest does not oppress the weak. Forgiven, or salvaged man is still man, and stories still go on. As Tolkien mentioned in the Resurrection story, “legend and history have met and fused.”
Although the story of Jesus and fairytales are not entirely the same, personally, the correlation makes it easier for me to approach the gospels. At first, the word Bible seems difficult to approach, however the applied sense of friendliness in fairy tales captivates my attention. It is easier to decipher the true meanings of the Resurrection through the categories of audience, Eucatastrophe and reality.
Tolkien, J. R. R. Poems and Stories. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.