The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

They open a door and enter a world NARNIA...the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy...the place where the adventure begins.Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund an...

Title:The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0060764899
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:206 pages

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Reviews

  • Manuel
    May 06, 2008

    I loved this book.

    It was first read to me in 4th grade. We would all come in from lunch and our teacher would read to us for about 30 minutes before we would start class.

    I remember this book because it wasnt read to us by Mrs Graham, but instead it would be read by Mr Goodwin, her long-haired, bearded, Birkenstock wearing teacher's aid.

    Over the next few weeks we were enthralled by this story, we couldnt wait for lunch period to be over so we could hear what was happening in this magic kingdom

    I loved this book.

    It was first read to me in 4th grade. We would all come in from lunch and our teacher would read to us for about 30 minutes before we would start class.

    I remember this book because it wasnt read to us by Mrs Graham, but instead it would be read by Mr Goodwin, her long-haired, bearded, Birkenstock wearing teacher's aid.

    Over the next few weeks we were enthralled by this story, we couldnt wait for lunch period to be over so we could hear what was happening in this magic kingdom, called Narnia.

    From the begining we all identified with Lucy and her siblings. How was it possible that an English girl could transport herself to another place, simply by hiding in a wardrobe? And once through the wardrobe, there was this wonderful and friendly creature called a faun, Mr Tumnus. All this in only the first chapter.

    As the chapters progressed we got to know more about the siblings and the other creatures who inhabit Narnia.

    Some people critisize C.S Lewis for using too much Christian symbolism, but I was in 4th grade and to me this was the most wonderful and exciting book ever written for children.

    When Mr Goodwin finished the book. I instantly went to the library so I could read it myself. I was very proud this was the first book I read "without pictures". To my joy, I discovered there were other books about Narnia and I eventually read all of them too. Evenutually I discovered other wonderful places in other books and I continue to look for them today.

    I will always be grateful to Mr Goodwin, he started off by telling me about Narnia, but in the end, he introduced me to so much more through my on going love of books.

    Thank you Mr Goodwin, for everything.

  • J.G. Keely
    Apr 24, 2011

    My greatest disappointment in

    was that Lewis was not able to demonstrate what made his good people good or his bad people bad. The closest he got to defining goodness was that you could tell the good people from the vague aura of light that surrounded them--and which even shone in their cat. In this book, the cat is much bigger.

    Aslan had no character, he was just a big, dull stand-in. Lewis often tells us how great he is, but never demonstrates what it is that makes him g

    My greatest disappointment in

    was that Lewis was not able to demonstrate what made his good people good or his bad people bad. The closest he got to defining goodness was that you could tell the good people from the vague aura of light that surrounded them--and which even shone in their cat. In this book, the cat is much bigger.

    Aslan had no character, he was just a big, dull stand-in. Lewis often tells us how great he is, but never demonstrates what it is that makes him great or impressive. Sure, he helps the kids, but all that makes him is a plot facilitator. He also has his big Jesus moment, but that has the same problem as the original: if he already knows that there will be no lasting negative outcome, how much of a sacrifice is it, really?

    But then, Aslan isn't based on the original fig-cursing, church-rejecting, rebel Jesus, but the whitewashed version. Like Mickey Mouse, Jesus started out as an oddball troublemaker with his fair share of personality, but becoming the smiling face of a multinational organization bent on world domination takes a lot out of a mascot, whether your magic castle is in California or Rome.

    Such a visible figure must become universally appealing, universally friendly and loving, lest some subset of followers feel left out. And it's this 'Buddy Christ' tradition from which Aslan springs. Devoid of insight, wisdom, or charm, Aslan is just here to do all the things that our protagonists can't do.

    This also beggars the question: why didn't Aslan just take care of all this stuff long before the kids arrived? Why did all the animals and fairies and giants have to suffer the pain of an endless winter? We're never given any good reason Aslan had to wait for the kids--since in the end, he does it all on his own, anyways. Sure, Lewis mentions something vague about a prophecy, but in fantasy, prophecy is always a bandaid authors stick over their plot holes:

    .

    The only thing the kids do is help run the battle, but this is only necessary because Aslan is absent, and he's only absent because the kids screwed up, meaning the entire thing would have gone off without a hitch if they had never showed up in the first place.

    In that regard, I have to say Lewis did an excellent job boiling down Christianity into a fable, and leaving the

    completely intact. Some readers suggest that Aslan lets the queen take over to teach the kids a lesson, but is it really worthwhile to let all the inhabitants of a kingdom suffer a century of misery just to teach a few kids about the true meaning of friendship?

    The villain is just as poorly-constructed, and seems less concerned with defeating her enemies than with being pointlessly capricious. She manages to trick one of the children, but instead of taking advantage of this fact, she immediately makes it clear that she tricked him. I mean, how did someone that incompetent take over in the first place?

    Selectively stupid characters are silly and convenient, especially as villains, because this completely undermines their role as foil. It is impressive when characters overcome challenges, but not when challenges simply crumble before them. The children are lucky the Queen was more of a

    than a Miltonian Satan, otherwise they never would have stood a chance.

    It is interesting to look at how many Christian authors have tried to reconcile their faith with complex fairy mythologies; not that Christianity doesn't have its own

    , but these other traditions are not exactly compatible. Dante has Virgil lead him through hell, the Buddha was

    , holidays were given new meanings (even if they often kept

    ), and magical monsters were also given a place in the new faith.

    In the Middle Ages, monks compiled

    , which described the roles of dragons, unicorns, and real animals in Christian synbolism; there were even century-spanning debates about

    . These books were rarely accurate, but allowed Christian theology to adopt many stories and superstitions from earlier periods; for instance, the connection between unicorns and virginity or the belief that pelicans fed their own blood to their young, in imitation of

    .

    So Lewis' attempt to take myth and adapt it to a Christian cosmology is hardly new--there is a long and storied tradition explored throughout the Chivalric period and recognizable today in books like

    , but Lewis doesn't do a very good job of reconciling these disparate mythologies.

    Like most Protestants, Lewis' religion was a modern one--not magical and mystical, but reasonable and utilitarian. He did not draw on the elaborate, convoluted apocrypha of hallucinatory monsters and miracles that mystics obsess over, instead, he made a small, sane, reasonable magical world--which rather defeats the point. It is unfortunate that many of today's readers think of Lewis' writings as defining English fairy tales, since his late additions to the genre are not original, nor are they particularly well-executed examples.

    Many authors have come to the genre with much more imagination, a deeper sense of wonder, and a more far-reaching exploration of magic. We have examples from

    ,

    ,

    ,

    ,

    , and even modern updates by

    and

    . Lewis, like Tolkien, may be a well-known example, but both are rather short-sighted, and neither one achieves as much as the many talented authors who came before.

    I'm not saying Lewis is bad, merely that he is unremarkable, and is hardly preeminent in fantasy, or even in children's fantasy. However, I do think his fundamental message is a bad one, even if he didn't realize he was creating it.

    In all his worlds, all his stories, he takes the sorts of people he dislikes, defines them as 'evil', then sets himself apart from them. There is no attempt to comprehend or to come to mutual understanding. I cannot respect a book which encourages people to vilify what they don't understand and to call isolation righteous. If any worldview deserves the epithet of 'evil', it is the sort of willful, prideful, self-indulgent ignorance Lewis displays.

  • Jonathan
    Sep 15, 2011

    Some thoughts recently crossed my mind

    in regards to arguments one could offer as a defence of the Christian side of this novel. The main arguments against this novel as a 'Christian allegory' that I have heard are: 1)Aslan is not a strong Christ-figure 2)That C.S. Lewis 'preaches' a black and white morality. So I'm going to roughly address them from my perspective and hope it encourages some discussion.

    Some thoughts recently crossed my mind

    in regards to arguments one could offer as a defence of the Christian side of this novel. The main arguments against this novel as a 'Christian allegory' that I have heard are: 1)Aslan is not a strong Christ-figure 2)That C.S. Lewis 'preaches' a black and white morality. So I'm going to roughly address them from my perspective and hope it encourages some discussion.

    1) I will agree that Aslan is not a strong Christ-figure. Firstly for Aslan to really represent Christ he would have to be true to the gospel story. In other words he would have to be god made into man come to die for all mankind. However as he only dies for the one traitor again it's not sticking true to the Biblical gospel that all have sinned and that Christ was needed as a sacrifice for that sin. If you take things too literally here, C.S. Lewis' novel doesn't make much that much sense theologically as a result. I'll explain where I am/was going with that in a moment.

    2) I debate that C.S. Lewis preaches in his novel. Occasionally he can be a touch patronising but compared to many authors he rarely slips into such condescension. As for his morality I think you must understand it from the perspective of Christianity. Christianity is about black and white morality essentially: good versus evil, light vs. dark and truth vs. lies etc. It is also very grey in that Christianity is about life and the fact that no one is perfect, that everyone fits into that moral grey area. Of course I explain roughly and inadequately.

    Ultimately I see that there is room to argue that C.S. Lewis does a poor job of writing an allegorical novel. However I see it as a very subtle novel that unlike others (for instance The Alchemist) does not build its story around expressing an ideology but rather incorporates an ideology into its storytelling. I think that if one wants to criticise this novel it should be for not properly showing the gospel rather than for 'preaching'. I know that I and many others enjoyed the story first before seeing the connection between it and the Biblical tales. I enjoyed it even more afterwards so, then again I could be a tad biased.

    To begin I must note that I grant this such a high rating due to the impact it had on my life. It to me is one novel that were I to pick the one novel that forged a love of books for me it would be The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Why? Because I can remember back about twelve years ago when I was homeschooled by my mother as a five year old. We wandered down during winter into the warm back room and she read the first Narnia book to us. The image of a red faun carrying parcels as he passed a growing lamppost would stick with me from that moment (as it stuck with C.S. Lewis). As I learned to read the Narnia books were the first novels I sunk my growing reading teeth into. And to this day I have read and re read the novels back to front (and maybe front to back).

    The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is a novel written for both children and adults. It contains highly allegorical elements as C.S.Lewis was a well-known apologetics writer. However he wrote that he did not write his novel as a pure allegory but as a story. And that is what The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is, a story to be enjoyed by everyone. And although written in simple language the reader can quickly, concisely and easily imagine the world without the clumsy constraints of overused words. I personally cannot imagine a world without these novels.

    Additional thoughts:

    1. Just a question at last. And one with a highly philosophical twist to it. Why is it that people so readily condemn those books which are considered as moral tales? You'd think we could do with more morality in such a twisted and confused world regardless of accepting the belief systems.

    2. I have heard many people describe the entire series as silly and far too preachy. I do not see it that way at all. Trust me if C.S.Lewis wanted to be preachy he would have written a lot more philosophy and less story. Yes I can see how some would call this silly but then I argue that they are missing the point. It's a fairytale type fantasy intended mainly for children (and for those children again as adults or for their parents perhaps). But I argue that as Lewis only wrote this story based on the story of the crucifixion in many ways that it was not intended as a preachy book. My question is that why is it that if I were to base a story along what some call the 'Christian myth' it is claimed as preaching while as if I were to base it on any other mythology or story it would be deemed as merely copying the themes of another mythology? Is this yet another example of doublethink?*

    *See

    (yes go and read it - you'll get what I mean)

  • James
    Jan 07, 2012

    5 stars to

    's

    . Adored it. I must have read it three or four times as a child. Hits all the spots in my reading dreams. a forest. A large family. Talking animals. Secrets. Mystery. Drama. Hidden messages. Saga and series. Every child should read it.

    Imagination runs free here. 4 children stuck a house. 1 goes exploring and finds herself lost in the world of Narnia. And the rest follow her.

    Siblings fight. The book shows what happens when you don't lis

    5 stars to

    's

    . Adored it. I must have read it three or four times as a child. Hits all the spots in my reading dreams. a forest. A large family. Talking animals. Secrets. Mystery. Drama. Hidden messages. Saga and series. Every child should read it.

    Imagination runs free here. 4 children stuck a house. 1 goes exploring and finds herself lost in the world of Narnia. And the rest follow her.

    Siblings fight. The book shows what happens when you don't listen to one another.

    Aslan, the hero lion, helps show what sacrifice is all about. Good stuff.

    I spent many a days looking for the secret world hidden somewhere in my closets. While I never actually transported to another world, this book is like its own Narnia - a transport into something magical.

  • Bookdragon Sean
    Nov 15, 2016

    The real world is boring; it’s mundane, unimaginative and dry. So humans create fantasy as a means of escape. We watch movies or go to the theatre to see something more interesting than the standard realities of the everyday. We paint pictures and gaze up at the stars. We play video games and roleplay. We dream. Authors like C.S Lewis and J.K Rowling show us this miserable world; they show us its tones of grey.

    The real world is boring; it’s mundane, unimaginative and dry. So humans create fantasy as a means of escape. We watch movies or go to the theatre to see something more interesting than the standard realities of the everyday. We paint pictures and gaze up at the stars. We play video games and roleplay. We dream. Authors like C.S Lewis and J.K Rowling show us this miserable world; they show us its tones of grey. Then underneath it all they reveal something spectacular: they reveal fantasy.

    So we have four rather ordinary children about to embark on an extraordinary adventure. As a child I used to always daydream. I’ve always been somewhat introverted and would prefer imagining faraway places than existing in the now. I still do this as an adult. And this is why I love fantasy so much because it is so immersive; it literally takes my mind away. Lucy, Susan, Edward and Peter are the lucky ones. When they stumble across the wardrobe, the gateway into a more interesting realm, they experience something spectacular.

    Sure, there’s a war going on. And, certainly, there’s an evil witch going around murdering people. But, for me, that’d be a price worth paying. For in Narnia there is also Aslan and a whole bunch of interesting characters. There is hope, magic and companionship. The wise old Aslan though is the star of the show. He sacrifices himself for his friends, for his people. Though one issue I have with the book, and one that makes me very much aware of the text as a construct, is the questions over why Aslan actually needed to the four children. He pretty much deals with the problems by himself. There’s prophecy involved, but on a plot level he clearly could have sorted this mess out without any outside interference.

    I’ve seen a lot of hate over these books because of the Christian allegories involved in the storytelling. Now I find this somewhat stupid. I’m not a Christian, far from it, but you can’t really criticise a book because of this. It’s incredibly naïve. It would be like judging

    based on its feminism aspects or Shakespeare’s exploration of colonialism in

    It’s silly. This book is, undeniable, full of Christian dogmatism. But it’s what the author wanted it to be. If you read Tolkien’s work there are so many allusions the world wars; this doesn’t affect the overall storytelling. It’s simply what is there. Read this with an open mind, as an English Literature student, I read the bible. I don’t believe the words inside, but I can still enjoy the experience. And this story is no different. Take it for what it is.

    And that’s something special. I do, however, much prefer the works of Tolkien. I feel that his writing is more universal in terms of age audience. With this though, I’m very much aware of it as a children’s book. The prose is designed to sound like a children’s bedtime story in places. That’s not exactly a bad thing though. I love Narnia but I can, at least from my perspective, objectively say that Tolkien was a better writer. Though what Narnia does have is Aslan. It’s hard not to Aslan. Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if he met Gandalf? Could you imagine the stories those two could share? I'm dreaming again.

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    Sep 28, 2015

    I hadn't read this in forever, so it was fun to come back to. I definitely remembered it being much more detailed, though. It's a pretty fast read... so that's funny how much my mind added to the story as a kid. But I still adore these books so much!!

    And I still think this movie was one of the best adaptations ever.

  • Patrick
    Nov 20, 2015

    This is the first book where I chronicled my thoughts as I read through it with my son. I don't know how easy it is for y'all to access the record of those here on Goodreads, but if you're looking for a detailed account of my thoughts on the book, you can look there.

    I'll say this. I've read a lot of books to my little boy these last couple years, and I can honestly say that This book is among the best. Good, tight writing, good description. Good action. Also there's not a lot of dead space or tr

    This is the first book where I chronicled my thoughts as I read through it with my son. I don't know how easy it is for y'all to access the record of those here on Goodreads, but if you're looking for a detailed account of my thoughts on the book, you can look there.

    I'll say this. I've read a lot of books to my little boy these last couple years, and I can honestly say that This book is among the best. Good, tight writing, good description. Good action. Also there's not a lot of dead space or trashy empty dialogue that just seems to be there to take up space. (That's become a particular peeve lately. And when you're reading a book aloud, it becomes really obvious.)

    The British slang will be a stumbling block to some. But it's not too bad. And there were a few slight pieces of sexism that I ignored, skipped over, or re-worded on the fly. But honestly, this book was written 60 years ago, and you need to cut it a little slack because of that. And in my opinion, it only needs a little slack. Truth be told, I've read books written this year that have ten times the sexism this one does.

    Also, I'd like to make it clear that this is the FIRST book of the Narnia Chronicles. This is where you start the series. I'm sorry if you read them in the wrong order, but if you did, it's better than you admit it now, come to grips, and move on with your life knowing the truth.

  • Dem
    Feb 25, 2017

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    The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a compelling story that is both enchanting and filled with fantasy and adventure and I think can be appreciated by both adults and children alike.

    Write

    image:

    The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a compelling story that is both enchanting and filled with fantasy and adventure and I think can be appreciated by both adults and children alike.

    Writen by C.S. Lewis in 1950 for his god daughter Lucy, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is part of a book series which is known as The Chronicles of Narnia. Set in England during the Second World War and tells the story of four children who are sent to the country to stay with a wealthy, eccentric professor in large county house. While playing hide and seek in the many rooms of the house on a rainy day one of the children discover a Wardrobe and the fantasy and adventure begins.

    Beautifully written, intriguing even for someone like me with a low tolerance for fantasy. I was charmed with the setting, the atmosphere and the wonderful complex and charming characters I met along the way. I loved the themes explored in the novel and really enjoyed the reading experience as an adult.


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