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Switch to Forum Live View The chronicles of Narnia
4 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2010 - 3:26PM #11
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

Oct 9, 2010 -- 3:03PM, Yavanna wrote:


Oct 8, 2010 -- 10:32PM, Sacrificialgoddess wrote:

The lion is a blatant Christ symbol.



Yep. The books aren't an allegory, but they are written to be theological fiction. Aslan is representative of how Jesus Christ (as God) would be in another world. The Christian themes and doctrines practically scream from the pages and screen.


I'm not downing them by any means. Both my wife and I like them, but I do think it's a good idea to be aware of their content and message.





The books are very allegorical; to the point that Lewis and Tolkein had a falling out because they disagreed about the inclusion of allegory in their fiction.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2010 - 3:54PM #12
Yavanna
Posts: 3,149

Oct 9, 2010 -- 3:26PM, gorm-sionnach wrote:


The books are very allegorical; to the point that Lewis and Tolkein had a falling out because they disagreed about the inclusion of allegory in their fiction.





As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs Hook in December 1958:  If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair (a character in The Pilgrim's Progress)  represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality,  however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question,  'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia,  and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He  actually has done in ours?' This is not allegory at all.




Both Tolkien and Lewis are mistakenly credited as being allegorical in their work. Tolkien was vehemently opposed to it and insulted by it. Lewis did do allegorical writings, but the Chronicles of Narnia are not included in that number.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gloaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.
- J.R.R. Tolkien
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 09, 2010 - 10:39PM #13
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

Oct 9, 2010 -- 3:54PM, Yavanna wrote:


Oct 9, 2010 -- 3:26PM, gorm-sionnach wrote:


The books are very allegorical; to the point that Lewis and Tolkein had a falling out because they disagreed about the inclusion of allegory in their fiction.





As Lewis wrote in a letter to a Mrs Hook in December 1958:  If Aslan represented the immaterial Deity in the same way in which Giant Despair (a character in The Pilgrim's Progress)  represents despair, he would be an allegorical figure. In reality,  however, he is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question,  'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia,  and He chose to be incarnate and die and rise again in that world as He  actually has done in ours?' This is not allegory at all.




Both Tolkien and Lewis are mistakenly credited as being allegorical in their work. Tolkien was vehemently opposed to it and insulted by it. Lewis did do allegorical writings, but the Chronicles of Narnia are not included in that number.





Tolkien was deffinetly not allegorical in his fiction; his letters are ather emphatic on that point. Lewis on the other hand, despite the letter you quote above, did use a good deal of allegory in his works. The parallels between "The Last Battle" and themes (and figures) in Revelations, for example are difficult to not understand as allegory.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2010 - 1:19AM #14
Yavanna
Posts: 3,149

Thematic elements, yes. An allegory, no. The Chronicles of Narnia are suppositional fairy tales in another world. As in, how would all those things occur in a magical land. Creation, sin, spiritual life, battle against evil and ultimately the end of the world. They're not meant to be used allegorically next to our own world. A distinction must be made between the suppositional and allegorical types of stories.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gloaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.
- J.R.R. Tolkien
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2010 - 1:29AM #15
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

Oct 10, 2010 -- 1:19AM, Yavanna wrote:


Thematic elements, yes. An allegory, no. The Chronicles of Narnia are suppositional fairy tales in another world. As in, how would all those things occur in a magical land. Creation, sin, spiritual life, battle against evil and ultimately the end of the world. They're not meant to be used allegorically next to our own world. A distinction must be made between the suppositional and allegorical types of stories.





If allegory is the representation of abstract principles by characters (a very basic definition) then the CoN are considerably allegorical. Aslan is a representation of Christ, if held to be a parallel or alternative version of him.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2010 - 2:18AM #16
Yavanna
Posts: 3,149

Oct 10, 2010 -- 1:29AM, gorm-sionnach wrote:


Oct 10, 2010 -- 1:19AM, Yavanna wrote:


Thematic elements, yes. An allegory, no. The Chronicles of Narnia are suppositional fairy tales in another world. As in, how would all those things occur in a magical land. Creation, sin, spiritual life, battle against evil and ultimately the end of the world. They're not meant to be used allegorically next to our own world. A distinction must be made between the suppositional and allegorical types of stories.





If allegory is the representation of abstract principles by characters (a very basic definition) then the CoN are considerably allegorical. Aslan is a representation of Christ, if held to be a parallel or alternative version of him.





I'd have to defer to the Lewis quote again. His CoN are not intended to serve as anything deeper than an imaginary, entertaining answer to "what if"? There is not meant to be any symbolization of characters and events to something more spiritual or moralistic. The tales are give at face value for enjoyment. They aren't preachy, but rather tend to revolve around a target audience.


It would be no different to write about the Chronicles of Narnia under the idea, "What if the founding fathers of the United States were talking animals and lived in a magic land?" How might that develop? What would happen? An exercise in entertainment. Not an allegory to be used in supplementing civics and U.S. government & history classes.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gloaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.
- J.R.R. Tolkien
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3 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2011 - 10:42PM #17
Hypoelectron
Posts: 1

Jul 29, 2010 -- 9:16AM, Sacrificialgoddess wrote:


I find C.S. Lewis' writing style obnoxious.  Don't know why.  Now Lloyd Alexander, now there's a writer!





C.S.Lewis was a Zionist and I find his writing while amusing when I was a child more offensive today. For example a girl (Susan) cannot return to innocence (Narnia) once a man has seen her as a woman. This is so biased against woman as the original sin it makes my skin crawl. However, there are many other things but on the same hand the majority of theology in the book is quite positive. Children themselves I doubt would pick up on the logic errors present in the ideology he gives.

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3 years ago  ::  Jan 31, 2011 - 9:17AM #18
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Jan 24, 2011 -- 10:42PM, Hypoelectron wrote:


Jul 29, 2010 -- 9:16AM, Sacrificialgoddess wrote:


I find C.S. Lewis' writing style obnoxious.  Don't know why.  Now Lloyd Alexander, now there's a writer!





C.S.Lewis was a Zionist and I find his writing while amusing when I was a child more offensive today. For example a girl (Susan) cannot return to innocence (Narnia) once a man has seen her as a woman. This is so biased against woman as the original sin it makes my skin crawl. However, there are many other things but on the same hand the majority of theology in the book is quite positive. Children themselves I doubt would pick up on the logic errors present in the ideology he gives.





I was speaking more from a stylistic standpoint, than from a theological standpoint.

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 02, 2011 - 1:49PM #19
Ursyl
Posts: 462

If the Narnia stories are not allegorical, why does Aslan himself tell Lucy that she knows him by another name in her world?


I seriously doubt Aslan was referring to The Green Man, though I did crack "the Green Man?" when we first saw the movie and heard that line. My daughter might have chuckled.


How blatant does it have to get?

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