In the unending flow of new books and the chaos that is the real world, it is easy to get overwhelmed at times and worry about keeping up and even getting ahead. Sometimes, however, it is nice to turn back the clock a bit and travel back to a world that captivated your mind early in your life. There were some books for me when I was young that just seemed to speak to me and peak my interest in the written word. These are the books that really formed a lifetime of reading pleasure for me as they showed just how much I could enjoy reading and the worlds that could only be travelled to through the written world. It is nice to take a little break from the tide of new books (or books that you want to read but have not found the time for) and travel back to that earlier time to read one of these books that you enjoyed and that helped drive your passion for the written word. For me, “The Chronicles of Narnia” was one such series of books that really spoke to me as a young reader and made me fall in love with reading. I decided that it was time to revisit the world of Narnia once more and get another peek at the wonders that lay within so I picked up “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis and started on that journey all over again.
A detailed summary of the novel would be redundant as most people are familiar with the story through reading it or through the movie that was made based on the book several years ago. In essence, the novel is the story of four children who travel into a magical land through a wardrobe. The children (Peter, Lucy, Edmund, and Susan) are destined to be the kings and queens of the magical land, Narnia, when they depose the White Witch who has trapped the land in eternal winter and made herself the queen of Narnia. Legends tell of the coming of four human children to the land that will set it and its magical creatures free from the witches control with the help of Aslan, a mystical lion. With the help of the talking animals and mystical creatures of Narnia, the four children and Aslan free the world from the witch and the children become the rulers of the land for many years until they eventually have to return to the real world and the England of their time.
“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” can be analyzed endlessly, and with merit, for its ample reflections on religion. The fact that C.S. Lewis wrote books on religion makes this particularly relevant and it is difficult for an adult to read the book without noting at least some similarities between the novel and Christian dogma with the most obvious being the almost direct correlation between Aslan and Jesus. This is an interesting part of the story and the novel could be read and enjoyed for this purpose in and of itself. If you have not read the novel lately, then you may want to dive in for this reason and try to reason out the religion of the novel.
It is also important, however, to enjoy the book in the manner of a child for all of the wonder that lay within these pages. This is a very good fantasy story for young readers that is filled with magic and adventure. When the world was swept with Harry Potter fever, many forgot that there were other very good books with magical adventures that were every bit as good, and in this case I would say better, than the Potter novels. C.S. Lewis may have been a religious man and expressed his beliefs through his writing but he also knew how to craft a tale of magic that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
I enjoyed my little trip back to the past when I reread “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and I could clearly remember the wonder that I felt as a child which grew into my lifetime love of the written word. “The Chronicles of Narnia” played a large part in my reading when I was a child as I am sure it did for many people. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” is a great short novel to read once more for your own pleasure or to introduce a new generation to the wonders of Narnia and a love of reading.