We finally did it! I finished reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe out loud to my husband! We got a bit distracted in the middle, but finished strong. I highly recommend reading the Chronicles of Narnia out loud. They have short chapters, lots of pictures, and an engaging plot.
I have always loved this story and these characters. This book especially is so well known. It is so fun to revisit these classic stories with my husband.
A few initial thoughts:
- The pictures in my copy are so darling! We loved seeing the way the artist depicted the scenes from the story.
- I forget how quickly the action moves in these novels.
- I was surprised by the many religious allegory elements in this novel. They are everywhere! I could write a book about them (and I’m sure people have!).
- Again, great book to be read out loud.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis follows the story of the Pevensie children–Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. Lucy is the first to enter Narnia and meet Mr Tumnus, a kind fawn with whom she has tea. Edmund follows the next time and meets the evil White Witch. When the four finally come together, they begin an epic journey to find Aslan–the kingly lion. Only with his help can the children stop the White Witch and become the rulers they were meant to be. But their journey is not without challenges–Edmund deserts them to side with the Witch, Peter must lead the final battle without Aslan, and Lucy & Susan witness a grave sacrifice. Can the siblings be reunited? Can they defeat the Witch and be crowned in Cair Paravel?
The Pevensie siblings are relatable protagonists because they interact like true siblings and they try to be better people as the story progresses. They change and develop respect, honor, and courage. I love that they are typical siblings–they argue, they defend each other, they work together, and they love each other.
My favorite of the children this time around was Edmund. Usually, I remember being annoyed by Edmund and mad that he betrays the others to join the White Witch. But this time I really appreciated his transformation in the novel. Yes, he starts by being rude and untruthful, but I love that he then realizes his mistakes. In the final battle of the novel, he fights bravely and breaks the witch’s wand. Then he becomes a wise and kind king. I think we can all learn a lot from Edmund.
I was surprised how quickly the novel moves. It is only a couple hundred pages long. But it certainly packs a lot into a few pages. The moving action kept us excited about the story. And it made it fun to read out loud. If I was surprised by any element of the plot, it was that the movie adaptation is so true to the book.
Perhaps its because I am older, but I saw so many allegorical elements in this novel reading it out loud. Quick definition: an allegory is a story that can be interpreted to reveal hidden meaning–often political or moral. The Chronicles of Narnia are clearly a religious allegory. And I love the many elements in them that point to Christianity.
A few of my favorites in this book:
- Aslan is a type of Jesus Christ. Only he can defeat the White Witch (a type of Satan/the devil). Aslan also offers himself up as a sacrifice for Edmund. Then he is raised from the dead. Clear connections to the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- “Sons of Adam” and “Daughters of Eve” – the connection to the first people in the Garden of Eden is significant because it ties the humans together in the novel as different and important, especially concerning the future of Narnia.
- The Stone Table – represents the 10 commandments (law of Moses) brought down from Mount Sinai. When it breaks after Aslan comes back to life, that way of life is also broken and replaced by a new way of life.
Overall, I think these books should be read by everyone–no matter your religious preferences or your age. There is something to be gained and appreciated for everyone from Narnia.