Monday, September 13, 2010

Books for the Bobbin - The Chronicles of Narnia.

Image Credit - Fantastic Fiction
I grew up reading these books, watching the BBC adaptations and playing Narnia in my backyard.

The family favourite is 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" the story of four siblings sent to the country in World War Two. The youngest, Lucy finds a magical land in the back of a wardrobe in the country house they are living in and at first her siblings don't believe her but later are forced into hiding in the wardrobe and entering Narnia.

In Narnia there is a witch who calls herself queen who has made it always winter but never christmas. Legend has it that she will be defeated by four humans who will become kings and queens and replace her. They will be put in power by Aslan the king.

The four children are reluctant heroes but find that they must enter Narnia and help it to be rid of the White Witch.

When we used to play Narnia my brother was High King Peter, My sister was Susan, I was Lucy and our Dad was Mr Tumnus the friend of Lucy. Our dog was Aslan. Mum did not often play but we would sometimes give her the role of the witch. I'm sure she loved that. Nobody wanted to be Edmund so his role was sometimes taken by friends who came to play.

It is a happy story about children who are able to make a difference in a magical land and become kings and queens. There are beautiful creatures and scary villains. The white witch certainly is formidable but I think it is necessary for children to see such characters. Our world is not full of good things and misunderstood things. There are some things that are dangerous and some things worth being scared of. I can remember being terrified of the Witch.

But in the end good triumphs over evil.

As a child I was totally unaware of C.S Lewis using the story as a parallel to the story of Christ. I have read that he did not intend the story to teach children about God but merely to see what it would be like if Jesus came in a land inhabited by talking beasts.

I remember watching the Disney/Walden Media film of Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and was all at once struck with the beautiful image of Aslan being killed on the stone table just as Jesus died on the cross. It struck me that Aslan was not caught, he was not a fool. He went willingly and suffered pain and died knowing he would be alright and he would be victorious.

I don't really think it matters if you can't make a connection between Christ and Aslan. I think the stories standalone as wonderful works of fiction. They encourage children to believe and use their imagination. To trust in good and turn from the bad. They have memorable characters and are written in a way as to encourage children to read more and more.

These books will no doubt be read to the little one over and over again.

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree! I already have these in Elliot's HUGE pile of books. I seriously think I have enough to fill a whole bookcase already. Oh boy.

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