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C S Lewis

Intriguingly, at the same time that Tolkien was teaching at Oxford and writing allegories about good and evil, another English don there was doing the same. This was C S Lewis, who created the Narnia series, which is just now receiving its canonization through the medium of film. As with the later Harry Potter series, there are seven books about Narnia, though there the resemblance ends.

The Narnia books travel through time without any system, and have different protagonists. The first book, and I think the best one, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, describes how a family of four children, staying with an old Professor during the war, step through a wardrobe and find themselves in Narnia, a world of talking animals. Sadly, it is now ruled by a wicked witch, who has imposed an age of ice that stifles everyone and everything. The four children lead a revolt, in which they are guided by the lion Aslan, who is an incarnation of God. The parallels with Christianity are taken further when Aslan allows the witch to kill him so that the younger boy Edmund, who had been tempted over to her side, can be released.


Aslan however, like Jesus Christ, rises from the dead and destroys the witch’s forces and enables the elder boy Peter to kill her. The four children then rule in Narnia as Kings and Queens for many years, until by chance they walk through the wardrobe while out hunting, and find themselves back in this world. Hardly any time has passed however, for time moves at different rates in different worlds.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

October 2010
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