Both Eustace and Edmund have major shortcomings that negatively affect others. Yet Lewis does not leave his characters there, fallen and shamed. He redeems them. Edmund becomes a King of Narnia and breaks the White Witch’s wand; Eustace is transformed by Aslan back into a boy and returns to Narnia for many more adventures. Lewis’s writing “affirms that it is possible for the weak and foolish to have a noble calling in a dark world” (McGrath). However, neither of these characters changed until after they met Aslan. It was his love that changed their lives. Throughout the series, Aslan is the one constant, the only character appearing in all seven books. His presence and direction drives the ...view middle of the document...
Appearing in The Horse and His Boy, Aslan takes on a very subtle, yet vital role in directing and protecting Shasta and Aravis. His function through the main part of the book is mostly unnoticed until the eleventh chapter where he reveals his part to Shasta.
I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion who you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to the shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you (Lewis, The Horse and His Boy 158).
Shasta does not believe him, protesting that there were many lions. However, when he thinks back on the events during his journey, he can see the roles Aslan played in his life as protector, comforter and savior. This leads directly to the third element that makes The Chronicles of Narnia classics: allegory.
The main allegorical references in the series are biblical ones such as the crucifixion, the creation of the world and the representation of Jesus through Aslan.
After the creation of Narnia in The Magician’s Nephew, Aslan turns to the cabby, Frank, and his wife Helen and appoints them to rule the new land. When Frank protests, Aslan breaks down his assignment by giving him three simple tasks: to cultivate and farm the land, to rule over the talking animals wisely and to bring up his descendants to do the same (Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew 139). In the Bible, God gives Adam and Eve similar tasks. He tells them to, “‘Be fruitful and multiply,’” and he gives them domain over the land and the animals (NIV Study Bible Genesis 2). A more direct comparison between these two couples is in The Last Battle. When King Tirian meets the two founding monarchs of Narnia, he “felt as you would feel if you were brought before Adam and Eve in all their glory” (Lewis, The Last Battle 170).
There are more connections between the Bible and Narnia in regards to the origin of evil. Wickedness soon follows the creation of both Eden and Narnia. When Aslan confronts Digory about his part in bringing the Witch to Narnia, he tells him, “‘And as Adam’s race has done the harm, Adam’s race shall help to heal it’” (Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew 136). This reveals a parallel between Digory and the Pevensie children and Adam and Jesus. Just as Adam caused sin to enter the world and Jesus redeemed it, the Pevensie children rectified Digory’s mistake (Hinten 73). Following his confrontation of Digory, Aslan sends him to a find a magical apple for his ailing mother. When Digory arrives at the garden, he finds the apple tree and sees the Witch eating the fruit. Mimicking the Serpent, Jadis tells Digory that eating the apple will bring him wisdom and discernment (Hinten 77).
In The Lion the Witch and...