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Posts Tagged ‘The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe’

(read before Part 2)

 

Saturday night I went with some friends to see Prince Caspian, the sequel to CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Of the seven Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian is my favorite.  I try not to think of allegory unless it occurs to me when I read CS Lewis.  So my appreciation for the story is quite apart from any meaning of the novel.  The story moves quickly, and there are fascinating characters and a glorious victory. 

 

The movie, as Hollywood is wont to do with my favorite things, greatly altered the book.  The basic plot was there, and some of the same events.  I dare say the duel was taken call by call from the book.  A major battle was added, and important events were out of place, which puts a very different spin on the themes of the book. 

 

One point is the same in the book and the movie.  Narnia has been invaded by a tribe of humans called the Telmarines.  They killed or exiled every talking animal and mythological thing when they conquered, and have for some generations denied the existence of dwarves, fauns, centaurs, and talking mice along with anything supernatural.  King Miraz rules a world he understands and controls.  And in the story all of a sudden everything they never believed existed came marching up in front of their face.  

 

What a picture of our country!  So content in our insistent denial of the supernatural, we wander along in a world we think we can control.  If there is a God, he doesn’t interfere with the natural course.  If God does redeem the soul, He does not give any power to the Christian.  If a Christian has power, it is just excellence in normal gifts and talents.  There are no demons and no miracles.  Waters do not part.  Men do not come back to life.  Angels are legends for Christmas trees and graveyards.  Dreams are not prophetic.  Judgment is never more than consequences or human vengeance. 

So we seem to believe. 

 

If God sent undeniably fantastic events and figures upon the world, what would we do? 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Prince Caspian takes place one year after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe ends.  In that time, back in a country participating in a world war, expected to behave like a child and to study algebra and sit at desks and ride in trains and motorcars, dealing with a father who might never come back and a mother who is hardly there – how did the four children who had been kings and queens of Narnia for decades cope?  What questions did they ask? 
 
Why did that happen to them?  What purpose did it serve in their lives?  How could they use what they learned and what they went through in their own world?  Could they use it? 
 
Why had they been returned to earth?  Didn’t Narnia need them?  What would happen to their friends?  They didn’t say good-bye.  Would they see them again? 
 
Was it real?  Had anyone else been to Narnia?  That lion statue looks like Aslan.  The horse reminds them of their talking horses.  Icicles terrify them.  Fist fights are necessary, but way too boring.  Who wants to wear school uniforms when you used to dress in the most ornate brocades and silks with embroidery?  Why should you talk to any of these boring and impertinent human children?  Can you really be friends with someone to whom you can’t say anything about years of your life? 
 
Will they ever go back?  Can they get back?  How will it happen?  When?  Will they return as they were when they left?  Do they want to go back?  Is it worth going back to lose it all again when they return to earth? 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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I finished a couple books that I haven’t reviewed yet.  One was by G.K. Chesterton, a genius who despised Protestants without ever really disagreeing with them.  Ok, but that’s not why I was reading him.  He wrote about marriage, home, and family, with great common sense.  Sometimes we say insight, and we mean something little.  I want to say prophetic in that intangible, surreal sense, but that’s strange.  He got into an issue and saw outside of it so that he could make points that should be so obvious, but none of the rest of us could see because we were busy arguing the points the wrong people were making to distract us from our strongest case.  So that was good, and beautiful, and challenging. 
 
Side note here to transition into the next book review.  I love reading books because they inspire me, make me think, or challenge me.  Books, unlike the majority of people I know, will tell me what I’m doing wrong and what I ought to do.  This is why I read books about relationships.  Maybe I’ll be burned by thinking I have all the answers, but in the mean time it makes me want to live a life preparing for the ideal romance and marriage – if I could just figure out what ideal was.  And for the moment, I have no firm idea of what an ideal man looks like to me either.  I think I have to meet him.  It’s like The Witch of Blackbird Pond says: Kit had to stop planning and start waiting.  The reason was, she would find out, a lot of these details are not a lady’s to figure, but the gentleman’s.  Letting other people make the decisions when they affect you is hard, but relaxing.  I did a lot of that this week. 
 
So I did just finish The Witch of Blackbird Pond, making a whole two books I’ve read with “Witch” in the title.  The first was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a book that my mom probably first read to me, and then I read it.  When your mom gives you a book as a kid, you think there could be nothing wrong with it.  That’s a good reason for rereading books when you’re smarter.  (So many people like CS Lewis, but his theology wasn’t always biblical; he never bothered to study the Bible, I think.)  Anyway, I would never have picked up this book either, but for a friend recommending it and saying how real the characters were.  It came from my library’s young adult section, which I think is sad because adults are not encouraged to read these really good books that would do them more good than they do kids.  It was short, though, so it would have looked strange next to the three hundred page hardbacks in the adult section. 
 
I’d say the book is about making choices, and the freedom that comes from doing the right thing even when you don’t understand what’s going on.  And it has to do with contentment and waiting and hard work.  I see my friend, who recommended the book, in the pages.  It’s the kind of thing she would like and live – and the kind of thing I would like and try to live. 
 
So some people think I’m perfect.  I don’t know what I have to do to convince them I’m not.  What’s more, they think I’ll despise them for their weaknesses or desires.  All my life I’ve determined not to forget who I was and what it was like to be younger.  For example, I remember how very serious everything was in my life, and how sure I was of my ideas, and even now it isn’t so much that I was wrong as that I didn’t see the whole picture.  I desperately wanted someone to help me out with the big picture, but I guess not enough because I wouldn’t ask anyone.  This to say that I wanted to remember feeling those things so that I could relate to young people.  And I never wondered how I would clue kids in that I knew: that I hadn’t forgotten, that even though I’m not entirely normal, I had some of the universal experiences. 
 
I think of some of my friends not so much as perfect, but as good.  They love Jesus and they are willing to make right choices – the kind that don’t radically mess up their lives – but they struggle with the choices, and sometimes fail.  My friend who likes Blackbird Pond is one of those.  And now that I think about it, that’s probably one of the things I’m looking for in the man I’ll marry: that he’ll be good (but as Anne says, with the capability of wickedness which he denies) but struggle, and sometimes fail.  I’ve never loved a person before I knew some of their faults.  Weird, huh? 
 
So even novels I read, even the romantic ones that send me to long drives talking to God about waiting and “Where is he?” – are challenging.  Because The Witch of Blackbird Pond was about waiting and serving and looking at what is and what I can do instead of what might be or isn’t and what I can’t do (yet), and because it came packaged in a daydreamy story, I’m inspired.  Now if only I wasn’t so exhausted from a trip across two time zones… 
 
And the number one question on my mind is what to read next.  Seriously, I have a stack.  But I didn’t have to tell you that again, did I? 
 
Hey – in case you’re one of those people who thinks I’m perfect, I’m going to confess.  Maybe I should have confession Fridays or something.  = )  How’s that for a blog series?  Anyway, we were at the beach and I was feeling dreadful, but our group was taking pictures, and as I threw down my hat and jacket on the sand, I exclaimed that I had no idea how I looked, and asked a dear friend if I looked beautiful.  The other night she’d told me I did when I, a reflection recently refreshed in my memory, did not think so.  But honestly.  How immodest.  To beg for flattery even just privately from her would have been wrong.  In front of everyone?  Arg.  Not perfect.  Proud.  Vain.  Immodest.  Quick-tongued.  Self-focused.  Didn’t do personal devotions all week either.  I thought it was ok, and it was in an anti-legalist sense, but I think it would have helped to hear from Jesus. 
 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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