The World of Narnia: Allegory or Fairy Tale

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Religion influences every aspect of a true devotee’s life. After the year 1931, C.S. Lewis was a devoted Christian and member of the Church of England. This means his faith when he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia was influential in what went into the writing of these stories. This influence was noticeable throughout all of the books in this series however it does not make the story automatically anything more then a great story. There are several basics of the Christian faith that C.S. Lewis believed and that are demonstrated in his writing. A few of the beliefs visible in these books are as follows: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the creation of the world and evil entering the world after creation had occurred not at the same moment it was created, and that there will be an Antichrist who will war with the spiritual forces of good. When writing is influenced by a strong held belief it will show portions of this belief stronger where the author feels it stronger but this does not make mean the story is exactly like the belief held. It is assumed at times that because of the similarities between The Chronicles of Narnia and the Christian faith that it is an allegory similar to Paul Bunyan’s allegory Pilgrim’s Progress.

The question then becomes did C.S. Lewis write an allegory or was it just his beliefs influencing his books? According to the Oxford English Dictionary an allegory is defined as, “Description of a subject under the guise of some other subject of aptly suggestive resemblance.” Under this definition at first glance it is believable that The Chronicles of Narnia really was written as an allegory. In the book the Voyage of the Dawn Treader Aslan is talking to Edmund about the world that Edmund is from a...

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...aren’t all the ways to define a fairy-story but these two point out that one thing for sure the Chronicles of Narnia are not fair-stories. However these stories are parallels to the Christian faith that appear allegorical at times. Though Lewis may not have intended it to appear so allegorical there are places where it seems that way. In the end though, it is a story that was created by an author who held strong Christian beliefs and allowed his faith to be an influencing factor in his writing. Lewis never said it was suppose to be an allegory and line up perfectly. He just wanted to suppose for a little while about another world named Narnia.

Works Cited

C.S. Lewis, Voyage of the Dawn Treader p.270

C.S. Lewis Collection of Letters Volume III p. 1004

J.R.R. Tolkien Tree and Leaf p. 14
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