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Narnia - A Review

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This book was the first of the Narnia series to be published. Released in 1950, it has World War Two as its historical backdrop.

The story is centred around four British wartime children, who are evacuated to the country due to the conflict. They go to stay in a large house in the country with an eccentric professor. The youngest child, Lucy, stumbles across the land of Narnia accidentally whilst playing hide and seek. She there encounters a fawn, who tells her about an evil White Witch that rules Narnia. Upon her return home, her siblings don't believe her. However, they too enter Narnia accidentally and are set the task of saving it from the Witch due to a prophecy made about them. The youngest brother, Edmund, meets the Witch before he learns that she is evil, and is tricked into thinking she is the true queen. At the promise of power and chocolates, he is lured into betraying his family, branding him as a traitor. The other three siblings must now try to save Edmund AND Narnia from the Witch, with the help of the God-like lion Aslan.

Aslan is a magnificent lion who is the symbol of the goodness of Narnia. When the children first hear his name, they immediately feel powerful sensations that they cannot understand. Peter, Susan, and Lucy feel great happiness. Edmund (having already betrayed his siblings to the White Witch) is mysteriously horrified. Aslan is clearly the 'God' of Narnia, keeping with Lewis's devout Christianity. Also, in the book, Aslan dies for Edmunds sins, but is resurrected. Many of Lewis's other books encouraged people to convert to Christianity (see specific titles earlier in project), so this book makes me think he might have been trying to 'sell' the story of Jesus' resurrection to children. Making the figure of Jesus is easier when using a Lion as opposed to a man. If it was between a man and a lion I think it would be easier for a child to accept the God-Like power of the King of Beasts, while still seeing a playful side (depicted through Aslan rolling around like a "kitten"). Aslan being portrayed as a lion could also be a patriotic sign, especially as this was written shortly after World War Two, the lion being the traditional representation for England.

In contrast to Aslan, I feel the Witch is a representation of the Devil. Like the Devil, the Witch has power to take the lives of sinners and traitors. Also, she is clearly shown as being heartless and cruel in all ways throughout the book (for example her lack of compassion or remorse when speaking



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