When the Witch enters an area, the hair on a body stands straight up, a cold chill shoots down the spine of a back, and everyone will know. Through vivid details, C. S Lewis does a great job of incorporating the Bible into his work The Chronicles of Narnia, from making the presences of his characters stand out amongst the crowd and making their presences known such as the Witch. C. S. Lewis uses allegory to symbolize Christianity with its main two elements: courage and faith; Christianity is tied to fantasy and imagination all through the series.
From the use of Aslan as Jesus to Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund as his sons, Lewis brings a different approach to Christianity, fantasy writing. His simplistic ways of telling a story makes the reader feel as though he’s there in the novel on the edge of suspense waiting for the next thing to happen to them.. From vivid details to being relatable, the novel has many scenes and actions to make one feel as though their going through what the characters are feeling in the novel themselves. The first appearances of Narnia became apparent to Lucy when she enters her uncle’s wardrobe while they were playing hide and seek.
To her she couldn’t believe what was happening, it was like a make believe world. When she met Mr. Tummus (a fawn), confusion struck her, but Tummus did a good job to explaining what was going on. After manipulating Lucy into to following him back to his house he tried to put her to sleep. His intentions were to sell her to the Witch due to false presumptions. Lewis has Tummus under the impression that Lucy was an evil person trying to take over the reign of the queen. False accusations led to an almost destructive ending, but through Lucy’s intelligent ways she manages to explain all this is false.
This act alone is what Lewis intended to be the incitement. Lewis makes Tummus appear as someone who lost faith in, religion but later converts back to the good side which is a foreshadowing as to what will happen later on in the novel to Edmund. The Witch is described to be manipulative, cunning, and somewhat beautiful externally but internally the ugliest thing to live. She cons people into doing her bidding, then turns them into statues once she gets what she wants out of them. Readers never get introduced to the Witch we only hear about her until Edmund comes into the picture.
This seems a bit strange seeing as how, accusations are made of her that no one really has knowledge of other then talking animals. He goes to look for Lucy and falls through the wardrobe and falls into Narnia as well which he made fun of Lucy for and thought she was lying, while there he wanders around looking for her and the Witch finds him. She takes him in, feeds him, and tells him to get his family here and bring them to her in the nicest way, but as readers we all know what she wants to do, and that’s to con Edmund into playing into her hands and destroy the sons of Adam and Eve so she has full control over the world of Narnia.
Edmund just being ignorant as he always is goes on to say, “She was jolly nice to me,” from this moment on we can tell who Edmund has sided with, especially with his philosophy she must be nice if she gave me food when I was cold (98; bk. 1, ch. 8). Soon after Edmund and Lucy return from Narnia, Peter and Susan question Lucy’s honesty again even though Edmund knows it’s real, he lies to save himself. As the kids begin playing a game in the house their aunt shows up and they don’t like her so they run and hide they go to hide in the wardrobe and low and behold they end up in Narnia.
As the kids enter Narnia, Lewis introduces them into a white dove he seems to resemble Moses, he can’t talk but the body language of the bird makes them follow him, but hesitantly because of what Edmund and Lucy have said, not so much Edmund but Lucy. Due to Edmund lying, the distrust has already been set in motion which leads to parallel events later on. The bird ends up leading them to the beavers which turn out to be on the side of Aslan which is a relief to them the beavers go on to explain who Aslan is, as this is the first time they’ve heard of Aslan. ’Aslan’? ” said Mr. Beaver. “’Why, don’t you know? He’s the King. He’s the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father’s time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He’ll settle the White Queen all right. It is he, not you that will save Mr. Tumnus. ” (132; bk. 1, ch. 1) Lewis puts these lines intentionally in this spot due to the confusion of the kids at first the children of eve (Peter, Lucy, Susan, Edmund) are baffled by who Aslan is.
They’re so confused it seems because they are having a hard time believing any of this is actually real, a world where animals talk, where they’re king and queens of it, and above all a lion that is the God of the land basically. Mr. Beaver goes on to explain who Aslan is and why he isn’t around but has returned to help them, the story of Aslan in its own sense is his first “appearance”. Metaphorically he is present now within the book. Knowing Aslan is real to the children gives them hope of whatever is wrong here they can help.
Finally the time has come for Edmund, this is great the Witch will get what she needs, his family and Aslan, and he gets food as it seems to be the only thing that matters to him, as he has already snuck off to rat them out the betrayal strikes again, but it back fires harshly on him. After talking with the beavers, the sons and daughters of eve with the beavers head off to meet Aslan at a camp. At the camp they’ll meet Aslan which will introduce the main religious person in the book. Talking to Aslan brings out the best in the characters, Lewis presents Aslan as Jesus in the book and his aura causes people to become brave.
For the kids Aslan embodies who Jesus is, someone that is honest, pure, courageous, and noble. Aslan appears to be a symbolism for Jesus due to his death and resurrection three days after he dies. Lewis uses the bible as a strong driving force behind this book as it’s apparent directly in Aslan’s character itself. When reading excerpts of Narnia and reading something about Aslan one would associate Jesus and him close if not identical. Explaining their situation of their brother he calls a meeting with the Witch to settle terms.
After negotiation Aslan met with the Witch to give up his life for Edmund, but three days later the stone table cracked. “She would have known that when a willing victim who committed no treachery was killed in a traitors stead the table would crack and death would work backwards,” (185;bk. 2, ch. 8). Lewis uses Jesus sacrifice as this aspect in the book as Aslan gives his life for Edmund, although the Witch has no clue that giving a life of someone who did nothing is an act of valor and courage and allows death to roll back and save them.
Once Edmund realizes what Aslan did for him he repents for his sins and turns back to the good. This gives the acknowledgement to the readers that all bad people have good in them and have a chance to reform and get forgiveness from Jesus and conform to the good. Most Christian authors are known to have a good and a bad side Lewis is no different, but the way he approaches it is different. To this effect, what is meant is typically religious authors have presented a scenario with good and bad in the equation or with someone going to from a bad to good or vice versa.
The way he has the Witch portrayed as is a beautiful external Devil but on the inside is the true ugly Devil. She is known to bring the worst out of people and cause them to do things they normally wouldn’t do. She corrupts those in the land of Narnia to do her bidding for the fear of being turned into a statue. Lewis takes one of the sons of eve as a prime example for this, Edmund raised to believe in God, but the moment he met the Devil everything is changed and he becomes corrupted (later repents).
This goes to say anyone can be corrupted even the people with the most pure hearts. Throughout the Chronicles of Narnia we see the use of supernatural figures influencing people’s decisions we see this heavily out of the presences of Aslan and the Witch. This leads to the question does Lewis put these figures in the book to see how people around them will react. As it appears Lewis’ supernatural figures put in the book have a huge effect on the people around them, as it influences what they do.
Edmund was once a disbeliever of God as well one would say and after being captured by the Witch and saved by Aslan he repents and converts back to the good side. Same thing happens when the son and daughters of even are around of Aslan they become more courageous and do things they normally wouldn’t. This all ties back to the question do supernatural figures really have an influencing factor on people and make people do things they wouldn’t or is it all a state of mind and reality that people psych them self out giving them the thoughts they normally wouldn’t have.
A quote from the book said it best “The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. IT is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them,” essentially never undervalue friendship, in the end, friends will be the ones still there to carry burdens (476; bk. 7 ch. 5).
Lewis use of this line seems to show that the people around them that can form relationships around them and the allies that they choose can make a deciding factor on what they do with their life. Although a fairy tale in its own respect The Chronicles of Narnia in its own respect is a version of the Bible almost, “Scholars consistently note its strong influence on the growth of fantasy as an independent genre and on its subsequent literary development,” (Jelena Krstovic).
This quote stated by Jelena reinforces the idea presented through the novel that religion is a powerful tool that people have in their life. What that means is when things turns bad threes always someone or something anyone can turn to is the message that is attempted to get across. Although religion is controversial Lewis does a good job structuring the novel in a way to make someone feel at home when reading this book and make them feel safe especially the presence of Aslan seems to note that more often.
A professor once said, “Aslan is almost certainly “an allegorical figure” because readers can picture his lion body without help from an illustration, and because this lion is analogous to Christ,” (Amanda Rogers). This statement alone shows how powerful Lewis’s writing really is, to be able to have a character come alive on the paper and make people be able to in vision Christ within a character simply by description is a powerful thing. C. S. Lewis is considered among the most brilliant and influential Christian writers. He is revered by religious thinkers (Jeffrey W.
Hunter), this statement holds true especially when reading The Chronicles of Narnia, being able to transport an audience to a fantasy world and make them feel as though they’re going on a journey with the main characters while using The Bible as a strong source behind it without making it blatantly obvious is one of the reasons the novel is such a strong read. “Christian parallels more obvious than they are in context; many people simply read the books for the story, unaware that there is any theological parallel,” (Jeffrey W. Hunter). This happens more often than not when reading this novel.
Going through the book no biblical references were picked up the first read through, but after taking time to actually read what Lewis was really trying to articulate the message he sends across is so powerful that it takes a moment to actually realize that he’s using religion in his writing. Consequently that’s some of the reason the book gets some flack by some readers, the fact it’s a religious based book turns some off, but the thing about Narnia, is it’s written in such a tasteful way that if one isn’t looking for the biblical references then more than likely they won’t be picked up.
Lewis way of incorporating religion and fantasy is regarded amongst his peers as strong for that exact reasoning. Overall we can see that C. S. Lewis uses allegories to symbolize Christianity with its main two elements: courage and faith; Christianity is a powerful religious writing when written in good taste; Lewis did just that in The Chronicles of Narnia. From the use as Aslan of Jesus to Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund as is sons, Lewis brings a different approach to Christianity many others haven’t done yet and that’s fantasy writing. We can also conclude from readers that “supernatural” figures have an influence on each of our outcomes based off all of the actions presented in the books and the characters that have been a part of the actions. A prime example to reinforce the idea of supernatural figures having an effect on people was when Peter in the book was afraid to fight in the war, but once Aslan was in the presence of him he gained courage. The sacraments are the important rituals, the rites of passage in every Christian’s life,” (Pietrusz, Jim) Works Cited “C. S. Lewis (1898-1963). ” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 124. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. 189-250. Literature Criticism Online. Web. 3 April 2013 “The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. ” Children’s Literature Review. Ed. Jelena Krstovic. Vol. 173. Detroit: Gale, Cengage Learning, 2012. 105-188. Literature Criticism Online. Web. April 2013 Glover, Donald E. “The Chronicles of Narnia, 1950-1956: An Introduction. ” C. S. Lewis. Children’s Literature Review. Web.. 3 Apr. 2013. Hannay, Margaret Patterson. “Further Up and Further In: Chronicles of Narnia. ” C. S. Lewis Children’s Literature Review.. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 Apr. 2013. Lewis, C. S. Chronicles of Narnia. London, 1950. Print. Pietrusz, Jim. “Rites of Passage: The Chronicles of Narnia and the Seven Sacraments. ” Children’s Literature Review Web. 3 Apr. 2013.