You will by now — I hope! — have completed your first (re)visit to Narnia for this #Narniathon21 event by reading and thinking about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first published title in the series of what’s variously become known as the Narniad or the Chronicles of Narnia.
As promised, I’m going to pose three general questions as a spur to your discussion in the comments section below, which you can either answer or ignore as you choose — though I hope you will have lots to say with or without my prompts!
My three questions will centre around three themes — magic, allegory, and character — but feel free to range beyond these if you so wish.
1. The first inkling of magic comes when Lucy enters the wardrobe and passes through into the snowy landscape. If this was your first ever read of this fantasy what was your reaction to this? And if it wasn’t your first read, was the magic still there and did Lewis sustain it through to the end?
2. If you initially read this as a child, were you aware of and, if so, curious about the Christian allegory Lewis enfolded into the narrative? But if your first experience of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is as an adult does knowing that this is regarded as an allegory affect your appreciation of the story?
3. And now a more light-hearted question: who is your favourite character, and why? (Or maybe you have more than one favourite character.) Because if story is, to paraphrase Hamlet, the thing that catches our conscience, it’s individuals, whether human or otherwise, with whom we feel affinity or antipathy and who drive most stories forward.
So, now, when you’ve had your say, you’ll be eager to return to Narnia and the next stage in Lewis’s saga. January’s Narniathon read is of course Prince Caspian, and our moot will reconvene on the 28th, the last Friday of that month, to report on our explorations. Here’s a clue about one of the themes we may be examining…
“‘Girls aren’t very good at keeping maps in their brains’, said Edmund.
‘That’s because we’ve got something in them’, replied Lucy.”C S Lewis, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian’