KidLit Forum

The Master Students in Children's Literature Meet Here
It is currently 25 Mar 2018 04:59

All times are UTC + 1 hour [ DST ]

Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2013 18:19 

Joined: 20 Oct 2012 17:52
Posts: 64

“(…) though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know: Her Knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards. ”

This is the book that up to know meets the most requirements (listed by the literary analysis) for a fantasy story: there are fractures in time in the story (an interesting fact resides in the idea that in Narnia time is not measured as in the real world, still there are several moments when time is measured here, too:
“In about ten minutes she reached it and found it was a lamp post. (… ) They therefore all hurried along behind their new friend who led them (… ) always in the thickest parts of the forest, for over an hour.”
); there are medieval characters, talking animals(lion, wolf, beaver, fox) and mythical animals(centaurs,Minotaur, the white stag) that more often are not created by the author but they are taken from mythology (giants), folklore (even Jewish folklore - the mentioning of Lilith – Adam’s first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam), often with slight changes; non magical weapons, archaic type:
“a shield and a sword (…) a bow and a quiver full of arrows and a little ivory horn (…) a little bottle of what looked like glass and a small dagger”
; the religious tone felt several times in the story - besides the ones that are embodied by Aslan – it is known that kings (as the were acknowledged in old times) were doing God’s work (this is why the 4 children are ‘crowned’ by Aslan). In the same context villains are considered to be the tools of evil, Satan, altogether with demons of all sorts (the White Queen); the good / evil fight is a strong and common characteristic of fantasy; magic that comes in many forms: the queens wand, Lucy’s potion, Aslan’s breath that brings statues to life; the use of more than one protagonist that usually are called to complete a quest (interesting: although the queen told Edmund to bring is siblings to Narnia, in exchange of royal presents, the latter does not hurry back with his siblings, it all happens by chance.) Edmund's disappearance is the beginning of his quest, he is the anti-hero (a good, innocent person who has made a mistake) and the quest is just what he needs to redeem himself – it happens in the battle in which he is wounded, but finally he is cured by the magic potion.

What I found interesting as far as the plot is concerned is the presence of foreshadowing = “the presentation of details, characters or incident in such a way tat later events are prepared for”, and from time to time, that of “red herrings” = something, especially a clue, that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting. Here are some examples:
1. foreshadowing:
“This story is about that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war.”
“I am going to explore the house”, “(…)leaving the door open because (… ) it is very foolish to shut oneself into any wardrobe”
“Aslan is on the move. The Witch’s magic is weakening”.
“(…) they saw the winter vanishing and the whole wood passing in a few hours or so from January to May.”
“But if the professor was right it was only the beginning of the adventures of Narnia”

2. “red herrings”: when the Faun reveals Lucy his real intentions – that of kidnapping her – no matter how disturbed he is, he utters the solution to break the spell of Narnia:
“And if she is extra and specially angry she’ll turn me into stone and I shall be only statue of a Faun in her horrible house until the four thrones at Cair Paravel are filled and goodness knows when that will happen, or whether it will ever happen at all.”
The Professor, when told about Lucy’s adventure in Narnia, uses a red herring to win an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic:
“I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”
“My dear young lady, said the Professor, suddenly looking up with a very sharp expression at both of them, there is one plan which no one has yet suggested and which is worth trying. (…) we might all try minding our own business, he said. And that was the end of that conversation.”


- Could the White Witch be a metaphor for the war itself (she has a Secret police unit whose chief is Maugrim, the grey wolf)? Or a metaphor for the world before the arrival of Christ?
- Even if the events take place in a secondary world (idea that makes the book to belong to high fantasy) there are a lot of human like behaviors among its inhabitants (e.g. fairy tale characters know about Adam and Eve, Tumnus the Faun invited Lucy to have a cup of tea, because of the war everybody is suspicious, even the trees can listen to you:
” There are the trees, said the Beaver. They’re always listening. Most of them are on our side, but there are trees that would betray us to her; you know who I mean, and it nodded its head several times.”
- Because of the war, could Mr. Beaver and Mrs Beaver, the Faun (as their names are in capital letters) be people undercover (partisans maybe) who meet in a safe house (the English for casa conspirativa) or are members of the resistance movement? There are some clues that lead to these conclusions:
“That’s right, said the Beaver. Poor fellow, he got wind of the arrest before it actually happened and handed this over to me. He said that if anything happened to him I must meet you here and take you on to – Here the Beaver’s voice sank into silence and it gave one or two very mysterious nods. Then signalling to the children to stand as close around it as they possibly could, (…) it added in a low whisper – They say Aslan is on the move – perhaps has already landed”
- Are there hints to the Romanian mythology or folklore? (clues: in Chapter two the Faun tells Lucy stories about the “midnight dances… in the forest” = could be the Romania “iele’; in Chapter Ten, Lucy gets a bottle with a liquid in it that functions as the Romanian ‘apa vie’: “If you or any of your friends is hurt, a few drops of this restore them.”)

- link to the film

Monika Bandi

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC + 1 hour [ DST ]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group