Analysis Essay On C.S. Lewis's Narnia

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C.S. Lewis uses a secondary world, Narnia, to convey complex, thought-provoking messages to readers of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. This paper examines the way a selection of Narnia's key characteristics prompt debates over logic and faith, comment on the nature of spiritual and metaphysical journeys, allow readers to broaden their conception of their own capabilities, encourage new reflection on the story of Christ and help to clarify conceptions of good and evil. Narnia's first characteristic of note is the portal through which it is reached – the wardrobe. By connecting the secondary world with the first, ‘real' one, rather than simply beginning the story within Narnia, Lewis is able to introduce thoughts about truth and rationality. As the first to discover Narnia, Lucy must convince her siblings that the second world does indeed exist. Here, the Professor gives the children a lesson about finding truth in a logical and considered manner: There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn't tell lies and it is obvious she is not mad…we must assume she is telling the truth. (p.50) Lewis suggests that logic and faith are not necessarily opposed, but rather can inform the other and aid the pursuit of truth. Narnia needed to be a secondary world in order for the deliberation over its existence to occur in the story's primary world, allowing the Professor's lesson on truth to emerge. The wardrobe is significant for several other reasons. First, one cannot reach Narnia if he or she is seeking to either prove or disprove its existence. When Lucy brings her siblings to the wardrobe with the express goal of proving Narnia's existence, t... ... middle of paper ... ...ld of the reader, where things are not always as they seem, people are complex and layered, and the process of discerning good from evil is a precarious task. Narnia provides an ideal; a land of moral certainty. It allows us to return to the real world with greater certainty of our own values. In conclusion, the secondary world of Narnia in C.S Lewis' epic tale offers much by way of literary significance. It provokes debate over abstract, complex ideas such as truth and faith. It allows reflection on our role in the ‘real' world. It inspires hope that we all serve a purpose; that we are capable of affecting change. It provokes new reflections on the story of Jesus and the meaning of sacrifice. Finally, it presents us with a vision of clear values; stripping good and evil down to their cores so that we may return to the real world more certain of our own convictions.

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