Friday, March 02, 2012

Reflections: The Chronicles of Narnia

I love Barnes & Noble's leather-bound classics! I saw this gorgeous looking leather-bound edition for a steal during the holidays, so I had to get it and revisit Narnia! I don't have much to "reflect" on this classic fantasy series. Everything about it makes it a memorable children's classic; excellent writing, fun adventures, memorable characters, wise words, and intriguing fantasy. The tales of Narnia are featured in seven individual books (all of which are part of this bound package, of course):
  1. The Magician's Nephew
  2. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
  3. The Horse and His Boy
  4. Prince Caspian
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  6. The Silver Chair
  7. The Last Battle
Aslan, the magnificent, magnanimous, wise Lion is the creator of the land (world) of Narnia. Narnia is as Utopian as it can be despite evil witches and some maliciousness.  It is filled with intelligent, talking animals and other interesting creatures who strive to restore harmony to the land with the help of adventurous human children. Everybody learns a lesson or two in morals (except perhaps the witch) and goodness always prevails. 

A lot of Christian beliefs and parables are woven into this series. Aslan creating the world of Narnia, it representing Paradise, things going wrong because of an Ape, Aslan judging all creatures when the world ends etc., are clearly formed on religious faith. But, being dense, I never really read into the religious undercurrents of the series until I re-read it this time. I guess I was one of the last few to realize it this late. Some aspects of it threw a damper on my reading experience. But only a little bit.

Nonetheless, it is a fun and engaging read for children and adults. I wouldn't read too much into the symbolism of the stories and ruin a magical, charming read.

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