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Danielle’s review of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)
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(last edited Apr 07, 2008 06:24AM)
Apr 03, 2008 07:59PM
Your thoughts are interesting to me. I read this as an adult and almost totally missed the Christian messages. I got the symbols - yeah, the Lion dying and rising is obviously drawing on Christ symbolism and embodying values (in selflessness and sacrifice for the sake of others) that Christians dig. But it seemed to me more like it was drawing on those symbols and values in telling a very long escapist adventure story than it was, say, actually trying to form propaganda. More of the time I was thinking, "Lewis is really pandering to kids here." Could it be that I didn't care about this stuff enough when I read it?
(last edited Nov 22, 2011 11:38AM)
Apr 06, 2008 08:57PM
Yeah, I think because I went to church every Sunday, etc. I was so familiar with Christ's mission as redeemer, that the parallels were more obvious to me than they might have been to someone else. Also, I agree that it was written for children, it felt like it was written for children, and so I shouldn't get too irate at being talked down to. Although, Lewis did say he intentionally wrote children's books so adults would read them. Anyway, I think your comment, John, is right on. For me it was heavy-handed, but I can definitely see the fantasy as priority side that would have stood out to others.
Dec 12, 2010 02:22PM
This was an interesting take on the book. I read this book a few days back; okay, maybe because I loved the movie so much. But frankly I would have to agree with John here. Its just a great story which has borrowed concepts and ideas from other sources. Yes it does get preachy at times. Also lack of details and clarity in some of the subplots are really striking. However inspite of all these shortcomings, this is a great book, for all ages.
Mar 04, 2011 10:19PM
I think the thing is that since it was written for kids you maybe need to be a bit more obvious. When I was a child I never really picked it up, but reading it now it is clear.
Nov 22, 2011 11:37AM
I think you have to keep in mind that the story was written for children. Lewis wrote the story for his niece, and incorporating Christian themes and a strong message into it, was a way for him to share spiritual truths with her in a way she might otherwise be too young to yet understand.
Nov 22, 2011 11:49AM
Duly noted, Josh. I was reviewing it as an adult, for other adults who might be inclined to read it, but of course you're right. It was written for children, and thus the Christ archetype needed to be explained and highlighted in a way that becomes glaringly obvious to adults, but probably only barely breaks the surface of consciousness for children. Even so, I seriously doubt that a child reading this story is going to understand the parallels to Christ's mission. I don't think it's going to give children a burning Spiritual witness of Him. I think that (like me) they're going to be intrigued by magic potion that can conjure up sweets and a closet with a secret door to a magical world. That's what I meant with the layers. He didn't need to make it so blatant, since even if he'd flat out said: "Aslan is Christ. Edmund sinned and Aslan redeemed him, just like Christ redeems us, who are all sinners," I don't think that would have increased the testimony-inducing aspects of the book. Since the allegory is likely to be lost on children anyway, he should have left the expository-like paragraphs out, giving credit to the teenagers and adults who re-read it for a sense of nostalgia to see the allusions without having them shoved in their faces.
Dec 20, 2011 12:29PM
The Christian allegory (yes, despite Lewis' denial, the Narnia books are allegory) was about as subtle as a baseball bat.
Apr 20, 2012 01:04PM
I'm with John. I found it a very cool fantasy story with magic and such. I never did catch the whole allegory thing until other READERS started "hammering" it and insisting that it can only be read that way. I saw it as pure fantasy.
May 16, 2012 12:11PM
I read it in grade school... Loved it. I didn't get the religiousness of it until watching the movie. Even then, I won't poorly rate the book. It's still great. The parallels are definitely there; "hammered"? Absolutely not.
May 27, 2013 06:30PM
Lewis himself never wanted the book, or series, for that matter, to read as allegory. His purpose was to entertain. These books have been in my life since my father first read them to me when I was 5. I love them and with each reading he more out of them!
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