As an accomplished and world-renowned novelist, Dostoevsky peopled his stories with characters who could either ascend the heights of heaven or plumb the depths of hell. Most of us are somewhere in between, but two notable characters stand out at either pole: the Christ-like Prince Myshkin of The Idiot, and the confessional, anti-heroic narrator of Notes from Underground. As the basic human being does not change significantly from one era to the next, it is no surprise that we can find elements of both Dostoevsky’s hero and anti-hero in today’s popular culture. We thus explore ways in which such superheroes as Captain America, Ironman, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman capture the heroic aspect of humanity as well as of Christ, as did Prince Myshkin, by reviewing Frank and Zach Turek’s Hollywood Heroes: How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God (2022). Similarly, just as the narrator from Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground expresses our self-doubt (if not at times self-loathing), we can find the same honest introspection in Taylor Swift’s Midnights (2022) album, dedicated to “exploring what keeps us up at night, both gnawing fears and that which makes our hearts race.”1

Midnights and Notes from Underground

Swift’s latest album, the introspective Midnights, echoes Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, which begins with the confession, “I am a sick man. . . . I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man.”2 Dostoevsky’s 1862 work was written to dispel the shallow optimism of social reformers of his day, who sought to bring Western-style reforms to a backward Russia, but who often regarded people as just so many mouths to be fed rather than as human souls. Swift’s Midnights takes Dostoevsky’s wisdom to heart as it addresses how we “vacillate between self love and loathing” and “lie awake in love and in fear and in turmoil and in tears.”3 In the place of nineteenth-century Russia’s concern for meaning in the midst of its poverty, Swift points to the self-doubt of today’s youth (which not even a pop star of her rank can avoid).

Both Swift and the Underground narrator struggle in love because of their own failings. Dostoevsky’s protagonist deems himself nearly subhuman (“Underground” referring to a crawl space beneath a floor large enough only for rodents, not humans), and poisons his efforts to redeem Liza, a prostitute lover, insulting her to the point that she leaves the home he has graciously shared in rescuing her. Swift likewise frustrates herself in “Anti-Hero” as she “get[s] older but just never wiser,” haunted by depression and memories of all those she has ghosted: “I’m the problem, it’s me” she confesses, with “covert narcissism I disguise as altruism,” like a “monster on the hill. . . slowly lurching towards your favorite city.”4 Dostoevsky’s commentator likewise confesses that “a novel needs a hero”, yet “all the traits for an anti-hero are expressly gathered together here.”5 He concludes that “we are all divorced from life, we are all cripples. . . [so] that we feel at once a sort of loathing for real life.”6

Such despair, however, is the first step to finding true meaning. Dostoevsky warns that the deluded who fail to admit their own shortcomings, and pass off such cowardice as good sense, deceive themselves. They miss the wisdom that comes from loathing themselves and even life itself. In fact, “There is more life in me than in you” the self-reproaching underground man declares, then concludes the story exhausted from his search.7

Love can yet be found, however. Dostoevsky’s polemic against shallow and naïve utopias, indeed against life and love itself, is not his final word. Two years later in his next novel, Crime and Punishment, the criminal Raskalnikov is at last moved by the persistent, sacrificial love of Sonja, reads the New Testament and Gospels he had to beg to obtain from her, and ponders “by what infinite love he would now redeem all her sufferings.”8 The infinite love that Dostoevsky’s Raskalnikov finds has its source in the very Christ-like love shown him by Sonja’s persistent sacrifices, as she travels to Siberia with him for the term of his imprisonment. Dostoevsky’s nineteenth-century contemporary, Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855), also proclaimed that human love requires an infinite source to be fully selfless:

Man’s love mysteriously begins in God’s love . . . if there were no spring at the bottom, if God were not love, then there would be neither a little lake nor man’s love.9

More recently, C.S. Lewis declared the highest of human loves to be that endowed from on high, “Divine Gift-love – Love Himself working in a man” which is “wholly disinterested and desires what is simply best for the beloved” and “enables him to love what is not naturally lovable; lepers, cripples, enemies, morons, the sulky, the superior and the sneering.”10

While the commentator from Underground never does manage to escape into love, Swift chronicles the perilous journey through self-doubt to find it. Swift finds her way to love by the end of the album, though it is a journey laced with an awareness of one’s own imperfections, just as the Underground’s narrator admits. She bemoans the lavender haze of expectations, savors the deeper maroon color of experienced love, and in an Underground moment further admits that “He was sunshine / I was midnight rain / He wanted it comfortable / I wanted that pain.”11 She does exult at the wonders of falling in love, likened to falling snow on the beach surrounded by a dizzying array of stars. Such love risks and finds, though it may feel left on its own, and dares ask the question that leads from shock to applause, that allows a bejeweled diamond to properly shine. Her vigilante spirit doesn’t start things but says how it ends (aided by a just karma), guiding her through a labyrinth to find love which karmically rewards her effort. Though she is chiefly pursued at the level of the soul, the sweet nothings and their allure are enjoyed with her beloved, though it may just be the case that she is the sole mastermind behind the hunt.

Swift’s Midnight journey to find love in spite of herself reinforces the lessons of Dostoevsky’s Underground man. The Underground man could not find a way to love, which was the point: on his own, he was not able to manufacture selfless love, romantic or not, out of thin air. Dostoevsky would need a source of infinite, selfless love, namely God, to fully inspire such romance. Swift shows the steps taken, at times faltering and at times courageous, on the journey to romance; but Dostoevsky is needed to remind us of the crucial and infinite resources that make possible such a journey to love.

Prince Myshkin and Marvel / DC Superheroes

While Swift echoes the Underground man’s confessions in her Midnights album, Dostoevsky’s Christ figure of Prince Myshkin lurks underneath the skin of such popular superheroes as Captain America, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Myshkin was Dostoevsky’s endeavor to portray “the perfectly beautiful man,” Christ, adding that “the phenomenon of that infinitely good figure is already in itself an infinite miracle.”12 Epileptic Prince Myshkin, Dostoevsky’s idiot, continued a tradition of Christ figures: Cervantes’s Don Quixote (though “essentially comic”); Charles Dickens’s Mr. Pickwick (“a conception infinitely weaker” but who “generates sympathy because unaware of his own worth”); and Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean (whose suffering of injustice was absent in Myshkin, so that Dostoevsky feared his character would fail).13 That the fragile, epileptic Myshkin could expose the corruptions of Russian society echoed the humble but prophetic nature of Christ.

Prince Myshkin also contained a portrait of Dostoevsky himself, reinforcing the imagery of a feeble yet powerful moral hero. In seeking admission to the Epanchin mansion, Myshkin recounts to the guard the story of a condemned prisoner who is rescued at the last moment from an execution (as was Dostoevsky), which the prince likens to the “torture” and “agony” of which “Christ spoke too.”14 Further, while the prince had an inherited fortune (and was thus quite un-Jean Valjean-like) he was also beset with epilepsy, like Dostoevsky. Myshkin’s epileptic fits enhanced his Christlikeness, as during such convulsions he would feel an “aura of ecstatic plenitude” and moments of “infinite happiness” in which he felt “the acme of harmony and beauty. . . a feeling, unknown and undivined till then, of completeness, of proportion, of reconciliation, and of ecstatic devotional merging in the highest synthesis of life.” 15

Dostoevsky includes feminine models of spiritual beauty as well. Natasya Filippovna, mistress of the powerful Totsky, must preserve herself from being demeaned by the powerful. She is modeled on Alexander Dumas’s Marguerite Gautier in La Dame aux Camelias, who sacrifices herself to the vicious whims of French society for the sake of a friend. Her story inspires Guiseppe Verdi’s opera, La Traviata.16 Myshkin provides a hero that Dostoevsky laments as an “extremely pale” hero, but one whose impotence is offset by a moral and religious purity which would yet overcome.17

Captain America and Ironman: Moral Goodness Can Require a Journey

That the moral power of a hero can outshine his physical weakness is the point of Captain America, Christian apologist Frank Turek and his son Zach claim in Hollywood Heroes. The Tureks claim their modern-day Christological comparisons are grounded in ancient mythology, as philosopher Peter Kreeft explains:

There are Christ figures everywhere in literature and life. This should not surprise us. For Christ was not an emergency afterthought or a freak from outer space, but the central point of the whole human story from the beginning in the Mind of its Author.18

Kreeft echoes C.S. Lewis, who declared,

The story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened. . . Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call ‘real things.’19

Arguing that his moral character, devotion to his cause, and simply goodness is the Captain’s superpower, the Tureks draw the parallel to Jesus’s unwavering moral perfection. Further, just as Cap sacrifices himself to the punishing blows of Iron Man to protect his friend Bucky (“I could do this all day”), or flies the nuke-laden German bomber into the ocean to save countless souls from targeted New York City, so Jesus withstood the full force of God’s punishment for sin as he died on the cross for the many.

Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, by contrast, begins as anything or anyone but a self-sacrificial Christ figure (in all humility declaring himself as “uh, genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist”).20 But Stark transforms (in Robert Downey Jr.’s words) from “someone who is absolutely self-centered. . . [and] spiritually dead” to self-sacrificially serving others, though only after enduring a crucible of challenges to his self-conceit and lack of greater purpose.21 Stark is thus duly inspired when his heart surgeon Yinsen takes a fatal bullet to protect Stark and with his dying breath admonishes him, “Don’t waste your life.”22 The Tureks liken Stark to the Old Testament playboy King, Solomon, who finally gained the wisdom to implore us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything flows from it.”23 Jesus thus warned that it is as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of a needle for the rich to enter heaven (Matt. 9:24). Likewise, John declares that the sinful allures and desires of the world are not from the Father – the love of the Father is in fact not in those who love them – and “will pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17)

Batman vs. Superman: Killing God vs. Finding a Purpose

In between the moral poles of Marvel’s Steve Rogers and Tony Stark lies a vast gray area, explored by DC comics’ film Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Superman is Steve Rogers on steroids, or made of kryptonite-resistant steel: he is not just uber-moral, but is in fact the only begotten son of Planet Krypton’s Jor-El, sent to Earth not merely to save it but to die and be resurrected. Like Jesus, he begins his earthly ministry at the age of thirty-three. Godlike in his abilities, suffering often follows in his wake. Mortals begin to question how a good God (or superhero) could allow such pain. The theodicy (another name for the age-old problem of evil) darkens with the very un-super Batman, a stark contrast to Superman. Though his only power is that “I’m [super] rich,” he lurks in the darkness of night to fight the unending crime in Gotham, getting his hands dirty to serve justice in places the law cannot go. Fallen human nature is his constant partner, and it begins to get the best of him in Batman vs. Superman. The Bat is co-opted to join Lex Luthor’s scheme against Superman, a plan to punish God himself for the evil left in his wake, such as the evil Luthor experienced from his own abusive father.

The Tureks explain the battle’s significance in theological terms. First, Luthor is at a loss to even describe the battle of good and evil without God having provided him a sense of what “good” (or “evil”) is. He can thank God for his conscience at least. Luthor violates his own conscience, however, when he inflicts pain on others, such as Lois Lane and Martha Kent. Team Turek also claims that God must be considered not just all-powerful and all-good (conditions for the problem of evil), but all-knowing and all-wise. Part of divine wisdom is that good often best emerges from a context of evil (as when Superheroes save mortals from peril), and that our free will must be allowed to have consequences (for good or ill).

Lurking just below the problem of evil, however, is the question of purpose. Enter the nihilist Joker, who declares in Dark Knight, “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? . . . I just DO things. . . I’m an agent of chaos.”24 The haze of moral questions surrounding both Superman and Batman are highlighted by Alfred’s description of the “feeling of powerlessness that turns good men cruel,” though he later admits that “maybe it’s time we stop trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day.”25 This cure for nihilism, a dosage of truth, provides the patient with a sense of purpose as well. Even Batman descends into nihilism, shouting at Superman (the God-figure whom he is trying to kill) that

I bet your parents taught you that you’re here for a reason. My parents taught me a different lesson [by] dying in the gutter for no reason at all. They told me that the world only made sense if you forced it to.26

Reviewer Paul Anleitner thus claims that

It’s fitting that as Batman moves deeper and deeper into nihilistic despair, he actually moves closer and closer into symbolically killing God through attempting to kill Superman.27

The truth that Luthor schemes to kill, however, returns and supplies the sense of purpose that both Batman and Superman had begun to question. Just as Batman is about to finish off Superman, Kent cries out “save Martha,” the name of both his and Wayne’s murdered mother. This common bond of humanity saves Kent. When released, he quickly serves as a Jesus figure when he sacrifices himself to kill Luthor’s Doomsday monster. Director Zack Snyder admits that the krypton-tipped spear used against Superman and Doomsday alludes to the spear that pierced Christ’s side on the cross. Further, when Superman is killed by Doomsday’s spear, his dying posture depicts that of Christ on the cross, with arms outstretched. The removal of his body imitates the medieval Descent from the Cross art motif, in which Jesus’s body is gently removed from the cross. “Men are saved by grace by the sacrifice of the God-man,” the Tureks summarize.28 Fittingly, Amazing Grace is played at the funeral and Isaiah 26:19 (describing resurrection) is read. The Tureks conclude by noting that, as with Bats and Kryptonians alike, God desires justice, as written in Ecclesiastes 12:14:

God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Wonder Woman: The Power of Love and of Courage

While Captain America, Iron Man, Superman, and Batman have thus far demonstrated the power of a Christlike moral goodness to rescue mankind, it is with Wonder Woman that Dostoevsky’s fundamental message, that of love, is shown. William Moulton Marston, along with his wife Elizabeth, created Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman as a superhero who could conquer not through strength or power, but through love. The Marstons aimed to change the feminine stereotype of weakness and fragility by creating “a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”29 The Christlike Myshkin did, after all, posit that the world would be saved by beauty! Thus, Princess Diana of Themyscira, the daughter of Zeus and Amazonian Queen Hippolyta, shows compassion in nearly every scene. For example, while hurrying to the front lines with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), she is moved by those they pass, pleading:

We cannot leave without helping them. These people are dying. They have nothing to eat, and in the village. . . enslaved!”30

When she does reach the front lines, she exhibits another hallmark Wonder Woman virtue: courage. Armed with just a sword, shield, and lasso, she crosses No Man’s Land under heavy machine gun and artillery fire to nearly singlehandedly liberate a village, walking into near-certain death to rescue people she doesn’t even know. Of all the powers and virtues, courage is the most basic and fundamental of them all. C.S. Lewis presents this principle from the perspective of the master demon Screwtape, who explains the designs of the ‘Enemy’ (God):

There is here a cruel dilemma before us. If we promoted justice and charity among men, we should be playing directly into the Enemy’s hands; but if we guide them to the opposite behavior, this sooner or later produces a war or revolution, and the undisguisable issue of cowardice or courage awakes thousands of men from moral stupor. This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world – a world in which moral issues really come to the point.31

The preamble complete, Lewis now hails courage directly:

He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.32

Courage armed with idealism is powerful, and Wonder Woman, like Captain America, has both in spades. As a god-killer herself, she aims to stop the war-making Ares (who killed the rest of the gods, her father Zeus included.) But her courage and idealism run into the stubborn fact of a fallen human nature, which Steve Trevor explains to her:

You don’t think I wish I could tell you that it was one bad guy to blame? It’s not! We’re all to blame!33

Man is a far cry from the image of God in which he was created, and the Tureks reinforce the point with Scripture.34 Sources range from the prophet Jeremiah 2,500 years ago (“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” Jeremiah 17:9) to Solomon (“A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord” Proverbs 19:3) to Jesus himself (“No one is good – except God alone” Mark 10:18; “For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” Matthew 15:19). Ares even admits as much when he states,

You’re right, Diana. They don’t deserve our help. They only deserve destruction. . . You blame me, but the truth is. . . all of this – I did none of it. All these years I’ve struggled. Whispering into their ears. . . Ideas. Inspiration. For weapons. Formulas. But I don’t make them use them. . . They start these wars on their own. . . All I ever wanted was to show my father (Zeus) how evil his creation was. But he refused.35

As the Tureks summarize,

Satan could not have said it better. Neither could Lenin, Mao, Hitler, or the MCU’s Thanos. Tyrants always justify murdering innocent people under the guise of doing good – creating a paradise on earth. As Paul warns us, ‘Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.’ (2 Cor. 11:14)36

Diana does not ultimately give in to the darkness, however. As she is about to wreak justice on a defenseless, unmasked, and facially deformed Dr. Maru, she remembers the sacrifice of Steve Trevor as he whispered “I love you” before flying a plane of explosives to safety at the cost of his own demise. She finds the grace to give Maru mercy. Her final dialogue with Ares is telling:

Wonder Woman: They’re everything you say they are. But they’re capable of so much
more.
Ares: Lies! They do not deserve your protection.
Wonder Woman: It’s not about deserve; it’s about what you believe. And I believe in
love.37

And so Dostoevsky’s persistent note of love, a humanity-dignifying love, becomes a chorus echoed even in the Marvel and DC Universes of Superheroes.

A Universe of Christlike Heroes

Team Turek includes other chapters on Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings. But it is their final chapter about “The Ultimate Hero” (you guessed it: Jesus) that deserves final if not foremost mention. Simply, they claim that Jesus exhibits Captain America’s righteous idealism, Iron Man’s genius, Harry Potter’s willingness to sacrifice, Luke Skywalker’s discipline, Sam’s loyalty, Frodo’s humility, Aragorn’s courage, Gandalf’s wisdom, Batman’s focus, Superman’s power, and Wonder Woman’s love. They further elaborate on how Jesus is the most influential person in history. He is the most others-centered (“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many,” Mark 10:45) and the only person in history to die for his enemies as well as to prove himself God by rising from the dead.

But, in the Superheroic spirit, it is for me Tolkien’s Christ figure of Aragorn who best personifies the idealism, passion, and sacrifice of Jesus as well as any superhero. Like Superman, Batman, et. al., Aragorn inspires hope, just as his elven name “Estel” means ‘hope’. This name was given to him when raised by his surrogate Elven father, Elrond. Thus, Tolkien describes his Christ-the-King Aragorn figure with imagery that invokes that of Jesus the Christ:

Thus he became at last the most hardy of living Men, skilled in their crafts and lore, and was yet more than they; for he was elven-wise, and there was a light in his eyes that when they were kindled few could endure. His face was sad and stern because of the doom that was laid on him, and yet hope dwelt ever in the depths of his heart, from which mirth would arise at times like a spring from the rock. 38

While Tolkien’s epic resonates highly among would-be (and typically male) heroes, he displays the chemistry of a heroine as well: not only with Eowyn who fights alongside the men (though finally declaring “I am no man!”), but also with Arwen the Elfen princess who forsakes an immortal life to unite herself with the mortal Aragorn, ranger and heir to the kingship of Middle Earth. She is moved by his courage and his cause, and gives herself to both when she declares

Dark is the Shadow, and yet my heart rejoices; for you, Estel, shall be among the great whose valour will destroy it. . . I will cleave to you, Dunadan, and turn from the Twilight.39

Aragorn certainly ‘marries up’. From the hour that “he saw the elven-light in her eyes and the wisdom of many days”, he loved her, though he is told, “My son, your aim is high, even for the descendants of many kings. For this lady is the noblest and fairest that now walks the earth. And it is not fit that mortal should wed with the Elf-kin.”40 Arwen is as close to an angel as a mortal man can find, and Aragorn asks for and receives her gracious sacrifice, her descent into his mortal life, which empowers them both. Peter Jackson’s Fellowship of the Ring film added a nurturing mother-love aspect to the elven heroine, as instead of the Elf-lord Glorfindel who rides the wounded Frodo back to Rivendell to receive health-restoring Elven medicine, Arwen alone performs the task.41 The scar she receives in the flight symbolically shows the sacrifice she will bear to deliver her loving care, just as Wonder Woman risked all to save innocent villagers.

Even the humble hobbits act as heroes, as Tolkien follows Lewis in his analysis of heroism, claiming

There is a seed of courage hidden (often deeply, it is true) in the heart of the fattest and most timid hobbit, waiting for some final and desperate danger to make it grow.42

Whether Idiot Prince, Superhero, or hobbit, understanding each side of human nature and summoning the courage to fight when necessary are skills we owe to the most divine parts of our nature.

Finale

The inspirational and Christ-like hero of The Idiot, Prince Myshkin, though very un-superheroic in almost every ability, presents an ideal to which Superheroes can at best aspire in their participation of the ultimate heroic element, that of the God-man Jesus the Christ. The journey to the fruit of such a salvation, as it were, from the Midnights of our darker selves, is illustrated by the anti-heroic confessions of both Taylor Swift and the Underground man, who both finally find their way to long-elusive love, which Dostoevsky’s Sonja and Raskalnikov show to be found only as a tributary to a more infinite, and divine, source. Let us, then, drink deep from this fountainhead of love.

Notes:

1 Taylor Swift, “Introduction” Midnights (Republic Records, 2022).

2 Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground, trans. Constance Garrett (Middletown, DE: 2023), 3.

3 Swift, Ibid.

4 Taylor Swift, “Anti-Hero” from Midnights.

5 Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground, 106.

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid.

8 Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (New York: Vintage Books, 1993), 550.

9 Soren Kierkegaard, Works of Love (New York: HarperPerennial, 2009), 54.

10 C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, “Charity” (New York: Harcourt, 1991), 128.

11 Taylor Swift, “Midnight Rain” on Midnights, co-written by Jack Antonoff.

12 In a letter to his favorite niece to whom The Idiot was originally dedicated, as noted in Joseph Frank, “Introduction” to The Idiot (New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2004), xix.

13 Frank, “Introduction” to The Idiot, xix.

14 Ibid., xxi.

15 Ibid., Bk. 2 Ch. 4, 208.

16 Ibid., xx.

17 Ibid., xxii.

18 Peter Kreeft, quoted in Michael T. Jahosky, The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle-earth (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2020), 87. In Turek & Turek, Hollywood Heroes, 18.

19 C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, October 18, 1931, in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Vol. 1: Family Letters 1905 – 1931, ed. Walter Hooper (San Francisco: Harper, 2004), 977. Cited in Turek & Turek, Hollywood Heroes, 18. Similar explanation is given by Lewis in the essay “Myth Became Fact” in C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (GrandRapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970).

20 Frank Turek & Zach Turek, Hollywood Heroes: How Your Favorite Movies Reveal God (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2022), 47.

21 Ibid., 48.

22 Ibid., 49.

23 Ibid., 50. Verse referenced is Proverbs 4:23.

24 Ibid., 159.

25 Ibid., 160, 163.

26 Ibid., 164.

27 Paul Anleitner, Deep Talks: Exploring Theology & Meaning-Making, “Snyder Cut | Batman v Superman Is Deeper Than You Think | Symbolism. Philosophy. Theology,” YouTube video, 26:45, July 22, 2020, https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eZkgte8Tx4. Found in Turek & Turek, 165.

28 Turek & Turek, Hollywood Heroes, 166.

29 Ibid., 175.

30 Ibid., 179.

31 C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: HarperOne, 2017), 160.

32 Ibid., 160-61.

33 Turek & Turek, Hollywood Heroes, 184.

34 Genesis 1:26-27, “And God said ‘Let us create mankind in our own image.’”

35 Turek & Turek, Hollywood Heroes, 185.

36 Ibid.

37 Ibid., 186.

38 J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King (New York: Ballantine Books, 2001), Appendix A.1.v, 374.

39 Ibid., 375.

40 Ibid., 372.

41 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring (New York: Ballantine Books, 1973), 280.

42 Ibid., Bk. 1, Ch. 8, 194. It is thus not surprising, that just as Tolkien dedicated the poem that helped sway Lewis towards the Christian faith, Mythopoeia (see it reproduced at https://narnianfrodo.com/2017/12/06/lewis-101-tolkien-101-ive-seen-trees-from-both-sides-now/), so did Lewis dedicate The Screwtape Letters to Tolkien.