Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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C.S. Lewis
Chronicles of Narnia
Geoffery Bles, 1984

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was published 29 years after the first chronological installment of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician's Nephew.

Rather than telling the story of Digory and Polly, this book introduces us years later to the Pevensie children, four siblings who are sent away during World War II.

The Pevensies are a likable quartet, and each one of them has their own unique characteristics and talents.  

Lucy is the first to find her way to Narnia through the Wardrobe in an upper room of the great house they are being boarded at.  

She enters the land of Narnia which has (from the time of The Magician's Nephew) changed into a land of eternal winter and oppression.  The White Witch has cast the weather upon Narnia and also has many Narnian citizens under her control.

Lucy befriends a faun called Tumnus who takes her back to his house for tea.  It is revealed that Tumnus has been instructed by the White Witch to bring any "Sons of Adam or Daughters of Eve" to her should he ever come across one.

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Tumnus attempts to kidnap Lucy, but finds he is unable to go through with it.  Lucy escapes Narnia, into the real world only to find that no time has passed.

Tumnus is taken by the White Witch for failing to obey her.

Lucy tries to show her siblings the way into Narnia, but it takes a few attempts before they get back in.  Once there they are taken in by the Beavers who help explain to them the condition of Narnia and what the children can do to help.

Lots of things happen in the middle concerning Aslan and other events which I will not spoil, but I will let you know for the sake of the points I would like to make that the children end up becoming the Kings and Queens of Narnia.

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Another thing you should know is that Lucy is given a special vial that allows her to heal anyone in distress, Edmund ends up betraying everyone to the White Witch, Susan is given a special horn that can call aid to her, and Peter is given a sword and shield with which to defend Narnia as High King.

This story is quite clearly a Christian allegory, which may bother some readers.  It certainly bothered Tolkien who was not a great fan of it when Lewis read it aloud at an Inklings meeting.  It mildly bothered me because everything seemed so obvious, but I tried to remind myself that it was meant for children.

I did really like the characters, and I found the movie to be pretty intriguing and adventurous.  

I would recommend this book to children, and I know a lot of adults have read and enjoy it.  I don't personally love this book, although I think it's alright and worth the short amount of time it takes to read.

Have you read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?  Are you a fan of allegory?

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The Chronicles of Narnia Wiki - Wikia


  1. I love the Chronicles of Narnia! :D I've always thought that Tolkien missed the point of the books; they (and especially The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) are supposed to be an obvious allegory to spiritual things. They are meant to light up the mind of a young reader and cause them to ask more questions, and to remind Adults of the wonder of God's glories, shown in a new and fantastical way. :)

    As you get further in the series, you'll see the allegory come through in different and slightly less obvious ways. The Silver Chair, for instance, portrays the struggles of a Godly person trapped in sinful ways. And the Last Battle, you'll find, has some interesting similarities to present times... >_>

    Anyway, I'm glad you're reading the series, even if it isn't your favorite in the world. I hope that you continue to enjoy them as you go!

    1. I'm glad you say the allegory will be subtler. I like to dig around before I find themes, so I'm excited for that :)

  2. I love the Chronicles of Narnia.....but I'm not a big fan of allegories generally. When I first read Narnia 2 years ago, I read only The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, A Horse and His Boy and Prince Caspian......and I didn't find them very interesting. But I was still on a high from reading LOTR for the first time 6 months before! Since then I have finished reading and re-read all of the books and I like them almost as much as LOTR now. They are really the only allegory that I enjoy. I have also seen the movies, and I am super excited because LWW movie is on Netflix!!!

    1. Oh I didn't know it is on Netflix! Cool!!
      Did you hear that they're making a movie for the Silver Chair?

    2. I heard, and I can't wait. It's been really slow going, and I doubt we'll see it any time soon. But maybe it will be out by the time my future children are old enough to enjoy it...

    3. I heard and I'm a bit wary. They SOOOOOOO messed up Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Which happens to be my favorite of the books!!

    4. Emmarayn, I was checking the news for it and it doesn't even look like they're done with the screenplay yet :(
      I've never seen that movie (only LWW and Prince Caspian) but that's really too bad, I'm sorry.