4 April 2014
“Is This a Religious Book?”
When reading The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, one may completely overlook the moral of the story. C.S. Lewis’ goal when writing this Christian novel was to appeal to children by “stripping them of their stained glass and Sunday school associations” (Ford). Although Lewis “did not have children of his own” (Walsh), he knew how to make Christianity enchanting. He hoped that “with the passage of time they would realize that Christianity stood there” (Nelson). With Lewis’ first novel in the series of The Chronicles of Narnia, Christianity was successfully disguised throughout the entire book. Lewis utilized new characters in order to get his point across. Each character represents someone of great significance in the bible. Lewis also uses the plot of the New Testament in his novel, or more specifically the crucifixion and the resurrection. Lastly, in order to create a multitude of parallels throughout The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lewis made sure to make use of time. From the passage of time within the Narnia, to the growth of the characters, Lewis makes sure to include everything that he can to make his readers think. With all of these parallels taken into hand, a reader may be able to distinguish its religious aspect. C.S. Lewis uses the plot, the characters, and a unique sense of time to reveal Christianity without ever talking about Christianity itself.
In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis utilizes the plot of the story to portray the life of Jesus, or more of, his crucifixion and resurrection. While covering the two in great detail, rarely does Lewis give away hints that would cause a reader to wonder if the story itself has a religious aspect to it. However, when looked at in an allegorical way, there are many more similarities to be caught then when read at first with a literal mindset. C.S. Lewis uses one of his main characters, Aslan, as his Jesus figure. Throughout the story, Aslan is put to the test and when read carefully; one may distinguish the similarities between the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and the crucifixion and resurrection of Aslan.
As one of the more prevalent and important scenes in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, the crucifixion of Aslan may indeed spark a sense of curiosity within its reader. With an educational background of the bible, one may be quick to distinguish the parallels between the crucifixion of Aslan and that of Jesus. Leading up to the death of Aslan, Edmund, the character that represents humankind, falls into ill terms with Narnia and sides with the White Witch. Edmund then decides to return to his family and the people of Narnia, but his debt has not been paid. “The apparent confession scene between Aslan and Edmund is still not enough” (Pietrusz), but that is where Aslan comes in. With the Lion’s Jesus role in mind, Lewis...