Dec 22, 2005

narnia from start to end to start

Here are two of my favorite pieces of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis:
(warning, possible spolers for those who don't want to know how it ends... er, ends and begins...)

Here's the first...

The setting: When in Narnia, the children meet Mr and Mrs Beaver, who describe the mighty lion to them.

"Is he a man?" asked Lucy."

Aslan a man!" said Mr Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is King of the wood and the son of the great emperor-beyond-the-sea. Don’t you know who is the King of the Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great lion."

"Ooh!" said Susan, "I’d thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake" said Mrs Beaver, "if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly."

"Then he isn’t safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr Beaver, "don’t you hear what Mrs Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you."
And here's the second...

The setting: On the final page of the final book of The Chronicles of Narnia (called "The Last Battle"), some of the children who have been to Narnia lament that they once again must return to their homeland—the Shadow-Lands. But Aslan (the lion who represents Jesus) has the best news of all for them:

[Aslan spoke to the children] “You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be.”

Lucy said, “We’re so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.”

“No fear of that,”said Aslan. “Have you not guessed?”

Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose from within them.

“There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands—dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream has ended; this is morning.”

And as he spoke he no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventure in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

3 comments:

Jill said...

There's a guy who did a whole doctoral dissertation on this one passage. I found it online a while back. I'll see if i can find it again for you.

Tony Myles said...

Awesome!

Chris Marsden said...

I still haven't seen the film yet, but I have been dying to re-read the series. You might want to check out a "new" CD by Andrew Peterson called The Far Country. He touches a bit on Tolkien and Lewis and talks at length about death and the joy of Christ. Between that and his Christmas album, my perspective on this season has been quite a bit skewed this year.