The Great Paper Adventure

Reading Log in English 75 (Nature of Reading)

C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”

 

Irony, I dare say, is the essence of this novel!

Having children as  the main characters of a very deep and mature plot. Being labeled as a children’s story book when it deals with very serious and symbolic figures. Ironic isn’t it?!

Even a Muslim like me reading a Christian allegory is ironic in so many levels. But don’t get it twisted! I’m not saying that this “irony” is a bad thing at all. Actually, it’s what makes C.S Lewis a master of his craft.

I guess we all know the story – the siblings (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy) stumble into the magical wardrobe while having a game of hide and seek.  This wardrobe transports them to Narnia where the White Witch rules and has thrown the land into eternal winter.  With their help, Aslan (King of Beasts) has returned to set things straight in a battle of good against evil.

Imagine a magic wardrobe leading to a wonderful new world (of snow!) – what kid would not be amazed by this?

The story will never seize to be a great read for kids and adults alike. It brings out the hidden adventurer inside us!

When I was a kid, I would always dream of being in a faraway land where I can do all that I want. Me and my younger sister would run out of the house and act like we are the king and queen of our own land. Good times!

There’s more to this novel than just being a story book intended for young children. It’s paradoxical and allegorical at the same time.

The significance of the novel lies in the idea of how modern fantasy continues to engage with it.  Even people who dislike aspects of its influence are persistent in countering it. Even though the story’s effect is stronger for young children, its power is undeniable.

As said by my favorite quote from the book. I believe that adventures will never stop even if we vanish from existence. Adventures are forever.

“And so for a time it looked as if all the adventures were coming to and end; but that was not to be.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

 

Quotations and Questions

“And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken [his name] everyone felt quite different…. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.”

-This quote from the novel is the perfect citation of Aslan’s mystical power. This passage also reinforces the idea that faith is intensely personal. For example, the childrens’ unique reactions to Aslan reflect their individual personalities.-

“If ever they remembered their life in this world it was as one remembers a dream.”

-It may be a short quotation, but this shows the fictionality of Narnia in the world of the siblings. The may know that Narnia is real but to think about it is just like recalling  one of your most beautiful dreams.

“Logic!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

-This is one of my favorite parts! When Lucy told about her experience in the wardrobe an in Narnia. The professor simply lectured the kids about logic abut in the end gave an assurance that Lucy is actually telling the truth.

“People who have not been in Narnia sometimes think that a thing cannot be good and terrible at the same time”

-The narrator says this, because the children have a dual reaction to Aslan, who is a fierce and terrible lion, but good at the same time. They love him but feel awe in his presence.

Poetry for Keeps

There, the Lion stood galantly,                                                                                                       Oblivious of His own majesty.                                                                                                                The children are awed,                                                                                                                           Some can’t help but feel very flawed.

Oh pray tell me!

Tell you what, exactly?

Is He on our side?                                                                                                                                       Is He going to help us win the fight?!

No my child.                                                                                                                                                 He never sides.                                                                                                                                      But He fights only for what is just and right!

Then I will do what is right!                                                                                                                   I will go and fight by His side!

Go, dear child.                                                                                                                                     Fight and be right with all your might.

 

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