Although the third film in the Narnia series was released on Friday night, I have yet to see it. Perhaps I’m a bit reluctant to do so because I wonder how Disney can truly convey all that C. S. Lewis does in this novel for
I began reading it to my class about three weeks ago because I wanted them to know of the story from literature before the movie. I wanted them to hear what C. S. Lewis said fresh from his words rather than images filtered through the vision of Hollywood.
It was slow going at first. The vocabulary was a bit advanced for third graders, not used to sophisticated language such as I was when I read C. S. Lewis and E. B. White in my childhood. But, I explained it to them as we went along, and by the time sulky cousin Eustace was turned into a dragon my class was entranced.
We had such an interesting discussion about Eustace’s transformation. Before he became a dragon, they described Eustace as a whiner, baby, pain, complainer, crybaby and mean, selfish, or greedy boy. When he was a dragon they saw him as sad, hurt, confused, scared and lonely. After being de-scaled by Aslan, they noticed that he was happy, out of pain, and grateful. What brilliant children to see the changes that He brings to our human nature.
I loved Lucy going to the magician’s book in Chapter 10. Bravely, she crosses the corridor, ventures into the room where the big book is held, and lays her hand upon its pages.
It was written, not printed; written in a clear, even hand, with thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes, very large, easier than print, and so beautiful that Lucy stared at it for a whole minute and forgot about reading it. The paper was crisp and smooth and a nice smell came from it; and in the margins, and round the big coloured capital letters at the beginning of each spell, there were pictures.
As if that wasn’t enough, Lucy is tempted by the spells the book contains. First, there is an infallible spell to make beautiful her that uttereth it beyond the lot of mortals. And later, after seeing Aslan’s face staring into hers from the page, she turns to a spell which would let you know what your friends thought about you…
What would you do, when confronted with the knowledge of secrets? Or, of knowing the future? What an awful temptation to fall under these spells, with awful consequences which could never be erased.
“Child,” said Aslan, “Did I not explain to you once before that no one is ever told what would have happened?“
There are so many lessons in the books of Narnia, so much on faith…
My favorite character in this book is Reepicheep because he is small, but brave.He never fails to address his fears and draw his sword, undaunted by his stature. May I possess the courage of that valiant mouse, while remembering the lesson from Lucy: trust the outcome without knowing what it will be for certain.