The chronicles of Narnia: the patterning of a fantastic world
The well-known and well-loved books that make up C.S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia" have long held a prominent place on many a child's (and adult's) bookshelf. Since their publication in the 195Os, the books' depiction of the fantasy land of Narnia has inspired the wonder, delight, and imaginations of children around the world. More than just fairy tales, the stories show readers that all is not as it seems, that perseverance can bring forth great rewards, and that growth is a continual and unpredictable process. Most important, arguably, is the ongoing struggle between good and evil depicted in the "Chronicles". These themes are displayed amid the experiences of several children, particularly Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter Pevensie. Beginning with the first book of the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), we follow the children as they magically enter the kingdom of Narnia for the first of many adventures there, including their meeting the memorable lion, Aslan. In the sequel, Prince Caspian, they help the prince and his army of Talking Beasts conquer the usurping Telemarines; the following novel, The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader", continues Caspian's story by recounting his voyage to the End of the World. The fourth book, The Silver Chair, returns to the theme of an evil witch, first explored in The Lion, while The Horse and His Boy details Narnia's near-invasion by the Calormenes. The Magician's Nephew accounts for the creation of Narnia, and the seventh tale, The Last Battle (1956), tells of Narnia's final days. Colin Manlove has carefully studied the tales and shows that they are patterned narratives with many complex, intertwined threads. He relates thesenarratives to Lewis's views on stories, and also sets Lewis's books in their literary context, both juvenile and adult. After a discussion of the critical receptions of the tales, Manlove supplies a full chapter on each book for in-depth analysis. Questions that may occur fleetingly to the casual reader, such as the matter of possible Christian imagery (most notably in Aslan's sacrificial death and resurrection), are examined fully to give the reader a wider scope of reference. Ultimately, Manlove contends that these stories mirror Lewis's view of the universe as both mysterious and complex.
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LITERARY AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT
A READING OF THE CHRONICLES
Approaches to Teaching
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adventure appears Aravis Archenland Aslan Aslan's country become begin C. S. Lewis Calormen Charn Christ Chronicles of Narnia Coriakin creation of Narnia creatures critical Dawn Treader death Digory Digory's divine dragon dwarf Edmund enchantment enter Narnia Eustace evil fairy farther fiction Geoffrey Bles giants Green and Hooper growing Harfang High Kings Horse idea imagination Jill journey King Lune Kings and Queens land Last Battle Lewis's Lion literary London Lone Isiands Lucy magic Magician's Nephew Manlove Marsh-wiggle meet Miraz motif Narnia books narrative nature Old Narnia Oxford pattern Perelandra Peter Prince Caspian Puddleglum queen of Narnia Rabadash reality Reepicheep Rilian Schakel seems seen sense Shasta ship sieep Silver Chair society spiritual strange Talking Beasts Tarkaan Tash Tashbaan tells Telmarines theme things Tirian Tisroc Tolkien trees true Trumpkin Uncle Andrew Underland Voyage Walter Hooper Wardrobe White Witch wood World's End