Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (1950) by C. S. Lewis is the classic fantasy/fairy tale about Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan--their discovery of the world of Narnia beyond the fur coats in the wardrobe and what they found and did there. The book is many things: It is, as Lewis tells us in his note to his own Lucy (his godchild), a fairy tale. It is a story to amuse children on a rainy afternoon. It is a rollicking good adventure story. It is also a meaningful allegory--telling the story of Christianity in simple form, but never getting preachy about it. 

I'm pretty sure that this was the first fantasy novel that I ever read; the first fairy tale beyond short stories like "Red Riding Hood" and those found in The Blue Fairy Book. I loved the adventure and the simple tale of good versus evil--with good, of course, triumphing. I enjoyed watching the children battle alongside Aslan and his woodland creatures and being crowned kings and queens at the end. I also loved Mr. Tumnus and his decision to do what was right even though he knew it would cost him. And I adored the Beavers--they added just the right amount of humor to the story.

Reading it again after forty years (or so), I find that I still love all those things--just as much as if I were reading it for the first time all over again. I found myself still indignant over Edmund's treatment of Lucy and wishing he weren't so very selfish there at the beginning. But at least he makes up for it in the end. This really is a lovely children's book with plenty to appreciate when you're an adult as well. ★★★★  then--and now.

[Finished 10/16/19]


Countdownjohn said...

I'm a big fan of Narnia - have you read "Planet Narnia" which explores the underlying long-hidden theme behind all seven books?

Bev Hankins said...

I haven't read Planet Narnia...will have to check that out.