The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
News and Notes
The Disney move Prince Caspian has grossed more than $200 million world-wide in box off receipts.
I’ve seen the movie and recommend it highly. It has battles, sword fights, and duels, the scenery is great and the special effects are well-done. It also tells a good story and the good guys and gals win in the end. You should go see it.
C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien
- Tolkien was a fellow scholar at Oxford and a good friend of C. S. Lewis
- Lewis and Tolkien were members of the Inklings, a famous Oxford informal group of writers who used to read and criticize each other’s books
- Both Lewis and Tolkien wanted to create fantasy worlds that were so consistent and complete that the readers believed in them
- They also wanted to tell “myths” or parables that would help us both experience and analyze an aspect of reality
- You can know what a good hamburger is in two ways – analyzing how it is made or eating (“experiencing”) it
- A parable like the one of the Good Samaritan helps us do both
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (TLWW) – General
- TLWW is a story about how 4 English children become Kings and Queens in a magical land called Narnia with the help of a Supernatural lion
- Christian readers will see the story as a Passion Play
- It involves the redemption of one of the children by the death and resurrection of the Son of God (the Lion, Aslan)
- Christians may see Aslan as the main hero
Heroes and Heroines
- Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter – 8 to 13 years old (Lucy is youngest)
- All 4 are very self-reliant
- Will enter a magical land and explore on their own
- None are perfect
- Peter struggles against self-doubt and fear
- Susan likes worldly things (fashion) and wants to appear grown up
- Edmund is proud and wants recognition and fame
- Lucy can give in to peer pressure although she is “best” of the four children
- Lucy is open to new experiences
- She is closest to Aslan
Two Approaches To Adventure Stories
- Events are almost all – narrative moves quickly from one danger to another until the hero wins in the climax
- Both Events and Mood or Atmosphere are important
- Has to “feel” right, have the right ambiance
- For instance, it’s James Bond, not Jim
- Lewis and Tolken take this mood and events route
Look at how Lewis uses “white” things and snow to convey the idea of “Always Winter and Never Christmas” in TLWW
Turning Points in the Story
- Lucy enters the magic world of Narnia, meets a Faun and goes to his house. Tumnus the Faun has to decide whether or not to betray Lucy to the White Witch. He helps her escape and is turned into stone for his trouble.
- Edmund gets into Narnia a few minutes after Lucy and meets the White Witch. He is greedy and forgets to be cautious, and ends up telling the witch that his sister has been to Narnia and has met a Faun.
- Edmund is asked to back up Lucy’s story about being in Narnia and decides to lie about it.
- All four children get into Narnia and discover that Edmund has lied and that the Faun has been arrested. They go to Mr. and Mrs. Beaver’s house and learn about Aslan. Edmund reacts in the wrong way to Aslan and decides to betray his brother and sister to the White Witch.
- The White Witch has a claim on Edmund’s life because he has been a traitor and both she and Aslan know that it must be satisfied. Aslan volunteers to die in Edmund’s place so that the 4 thrones at Cair Paravel can be filled humans and Narnia restored.
Aslan is killed by the White Witch but is resurrected by the Deep Magic put into Narnia by the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea, Aslan’s father. He helps the children in a final battle to slay the witch and restores Narnia