Original Books

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Friday, August 28, 2009

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Everyone knows the story of the four Pevinsies, but I've never read a professional review of it.
When Lucy first walked through the wardrobe, I think the public fails to grasp the complete originality of C.S. Lewis' new world. Tolkien had already created the concept of an alternate world, but Lewis added the feature of someone from our world finding their way into it. If you read The Magician's Nephew first like you should, you would understand the significance of the wardrobe. This will also explain the lamppost and how it got there.
I believe C.S. Lewis fully understood the concept of taking children in during the war because he did so himself. He took in a number of children to his country home during the London Blitz.
Mr. Tumnus symbolizes the backsliders, the ones who work for Satan just because it's more popular than working for Jesus. His involvement in the plot is interesting.
The concept of the White Witch is also original especially if you know English faerie tales. Normally, the white witches were like faeries, whereas the black witches were bad. Lewis added to feature to show how deceptive Satan can be.
The snow itself is also symbolic, symbolizing Satan's hold on the world before Jesus died. Father Christmas is a nod to the youngsters of Lewis' day.
The concept of talking animals was something very "magical" in Lewis' day. No one, not even Tolkein, had come up with this one before. Today it seems normal as we see children's TV shows all the time depicting talking animals.
Dwarfs were popular in faerie tales and mythology. So were fauns, satyrs, centaurs, naiads, and dryads.
The sacrifice of Aslan on the Stone Table was the first allegorical version of Calvary ever written into a children's book. However, Tolkien had already come up with a Christ figure in his Lord of the Rings.
The main purpose of this review is to show you where and how speculative fiction was born-in the creative mind of C.S. Lewis. No other alternate world, in my mind has topped that of the Chronicles of Narnia.
5 stars

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