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Friday, December 09, 2005

Christian Overtones in Narnia

When in the first volume he sacrifices himself in order to redeem Edmund, and in the last leads the talking animals to a beautiful afterworld, it's so easy to see Lewis ringing his Christian themes that you marvel at how you utterly missed them as a child. But miss them you most likely did, and for good reason.

Meghan O'Rourke might have missed them as a child, but I absolutely did not, steeped as I was in a mission school, The Anglo Chinese School, with its weekly preachings and daily devotionals. In fact, even as a child, the Christian allegories were so distracting that I found myself much preferring the Chronicles of Prydain by Llyold Alexander, with its Celtic myths and its sad sad stories of growing up, facing your responsibilities, and being true to yourself. The place in the books where Taran gives up magical wisdom, and later where he has to give up his true love strike a cord in me, even years later as an adult, while Narnia's Christian allegories are a pale shadow of the bible itself, which has far more interesting stories.

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