This year I will read all of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series– five of them, and will complete a goal on my 2014 Manifesto. So curl up with a cup of hot coffee, your fuzzy socks, and a blazing fire, and let’s get reading.
“NARNIA… the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy… the place where the adventure begins.” This book, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C.S. Lewis is the story most know and perhaps think of as ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.” In the past story, ‘The Magician’s Nephew’, we learn how the wardrobe came to be, and in this story we get to journey into the wardrobe; led by Lucy, the youngest of the four siblings. At first her brothers and sister do not believe her when she tells them of her adventure- but then, who would? Once all of the children eventually make it into the wardrobe, Lucy gets her due recognition.
Edmund, the second youngest- is most incredulous of Lucy’s story, and is therefore the most bitter when he finds out (even before the elder children) that Lucy is telling the truth. He finds himself in Narnia after following Lucy, and falls in with the worst creature possible there- the White Witch. She fancies herself Queen of Narnia, and is the reason for the perpetual Winter. She ploys Edmund with sweets, and makes him agree to bring his siblings back to see her. Soon after, as circumstances happen, they all find themselves in Narnia. They meet Mrs. and Mr. Beaver (talking animals are the norm here) and they all discuss the events going on in Narnia. The news is that Aslan has returned to Narnia, bringing Spring with him.
At a point during their gathering, they notice that Edmund has gone and they realize he has gone to the White Witch. They must run for it, knowing she will come after them on her sled. Edmund had indeed gone to the witch, but it was not out of malice for his siblings so much as he wanted more Turkish Delight, and also to be a prince. He is not having a very good time however, as the witch attempts to overtake the kids and Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. He is hungry and cold and is being treated like a child. The efforts of the White Witch are hampered by the signs of Spring popping up around them, and soon the sled is of no use at all. Meanwhile, the kids have reached the sea and the Stone Slab. This is where they meet Aslan, the King and Creator of Narnia.
This is a good place to stop my summary to leave you hanging- if you haven’t read the book, it’s a good one- go out and read it! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a story that deals with the themes of good vs evil, compassion, forgiveness, betrayal, transformation, guilt, blame, courage, family, and of course the great underlying allegory. This book presents a Christian worldview through Narnia- another world that C.S. Lewis laid out to use as a tool to tell a bigger story. It paints a Biblical portrait of Christ in the character of Aslan. The book touches on Aslan’s willingness to die for the ‘Sons of Adam’, resurrection, and even spiritual warfare. This is a classic and enduring book which presents the gospel in a fun and powerful way for kids; and in a way that adults can still appreciate, be entertained, and learn from.