Good Research Paper On The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” come from the vision of C.S. Lewis when he was sixteen years old. The vision was not spiritual or prophetic, but was simply a strange mental picture of a mythical half goat and half man or a Faun, who carried an armload of packages while he sheltered himself with an umbrella in a snowy wooded area. The innocent, but strange vision stayed with Lewis for many years. His fascination with evacuees and the idea of uprooting these children and sending them away from their homes also added to the intrigue in Lewis’ life and gave him the idea to write children literature. The treatment of Aslan has a religious – like lions as to the beauty and recognition of the value of Christianity and morality. Arguably, the novel and the movie show Lewis’ Christian morality and faith through the use of allegory that appeals to viewers and readers at all levels.
There is a striking Christian balance that shapes the movie and the book. Still, “the most unmistakably Christian trope in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is Aslan's death and resurrection.” Aslan gives his life in a similar fashion to Jesus on the cross as he attempts to save Edmund from death. Additionally, his resurrection reinforces the Christian ideology and leaves the viewers with no doubts as to the Christian values in both the novel and the movie. Van Biema points out that Lewis insisted none of his novels is a point-by-point Christian allegory, but most of the novel “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” owes much to the folktales of the English society and the classical myth rather than the teachings of the New Testament.
Munroe suggests: “the movie is a faithful adaptation and provides high quality, wholesome entertainment.” Of course, there are alterations to the movie, but there is the clear essence of the novel in the film adaptation. Still, one feels as though “there is more heart that comes through in the book, but while watching the film there is still the feeling of a grandfather divulging a significant tale to his grandchildren.” Both the movie and the novel give a reflection of Lewis's religious passion for Christianity as he experienced the re-conversion to Christianity.
The story is directed at the children readers and is a captivating and sophisticated book that enjoys popularity worldwide. During the past sixty years, the novel was adapted into a live – action television series, major motion picture, and an animated television series. Currently, the book is a cultural phenomenon in many households. A number of individuals may not be drawn to the pieces as the twenty-first century style of living does not include Naiads, Dyads or Fauns feasting in the woods in summer. In contrast, the novel is not the same as the modern children’s fantasy as not every form of injustice gets the punishment it deserves and people do not live happily ever after. In both pieces, the audience sees betrayal and the events that lead to this betrayal, redemption, sacrifice, and forgiveness that helps the characters opportunity to recover from the disloyalty.
The long anticipated adaptation of the novel and the release of the movie create the mystery and entertainment for those who embrace it. Ewart postulates that the novel and the movie are quite entertaining as the children battle wolves; they meet talking animals, encounter the evil White Witch and meet the magnificent lion, Alsan. One’s imagination will open the door to the heart and soul of the readers through use of the biblical metaphors. The story opens with the four children Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy who discovers that there is a fantasy world. The setting is in World War II and the children are sent away to the English countryside to spend time with their professor played by Jim Broadbent. The unexpected breakthrough towards the back of a coat closet and introduces her siblings to the world of make-believe. Film director, Andrew Adamson suggests that the movie is a true reflection of the novel, but this does not mean that there were not changes to the movie that makes it different from the novel. For those individuals who have never read the novel, there may be a number of questions as to the content of the movie where viewers see the betrayals and battles, deep magic, and the White Witch. Some critics, including David DiCerto, argues that the movie version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is limited in it representation of the development of the character and the narrative depth as well as an elaborate reflection of the movie world. Still, there is the simple and self-contained advantage of the adaptation as one expects this shortcoming in films. The special effects of the climactic battle however, make up for the shortcomings of the narration and character development.
The novel forces one to “see” the visual picture and live the excitement from the start of the novel, but the movie leaves the viewers enthralled from the beginning to the end. Brennan suggests that the Narnia Chronicles are possibly the most famous of all of Lewis’ works as Lewis typifies the Biblical character of Jesus through the character of the lion in a way that children can understand the true value of the Christian principles. The special effects of the animals is even more intriguing as they portray such real human-like expressions of happiness and sadness that one could never hope to “see” while reading the novel, yet the director keeps the film true to the form of the book. The two most important characters in the novel come to life with the rich imagery that Lewis intended. The dramatic depiction of the brutal and calculating queen leaves no doubt the director captured the black eyes effectively. While Aslan’s character is computer generated, the moment he defeats the White Witch takes the viewer into a realm that shows a striking contrast in his golden eyes and the cold chiseled horror that is reflected in the face of the White Witch.
Lewis wrote the novel in an effort to appeal to one’s Christian views, the idea of the sacrificial death and the resurrection. The movie does not detract from this symbolism as the theme of goodness versus evil is clear in the death of the White Witch, the return of Aslan, and the continued discussion of being safe. Both the movie and the novel cover the Christian principle of salvation. Father Christmas gives the children protective covering that can help them as they serve Aslan. Many Christians believe that this signifies the Armor of God even as Father Christmas gives praises to Aslan. Aslan readily forgives Edmond for an act that others would not have forgiven. Additionally, there is the resurrection of Aslan which is similar to the death of Christ and His resurrection from the cross. Aslan also goes into the forest before he dies and the he says “It is Finished” after he conquers the White Witch. Clearly, the Biblical interpretations in the movie reflect Lewis’ general principle that God is the protector of mankind. Lucy also acts as the protector to the faun and During Lucy’s visit to Narnia, she becomes friends with Mr. Tumnus, a faun and her loyalty becomes clear when she decides to rescue him from the White Witch.
The movie leaves the viewers speechless as the lesson on forgiveness is apparent throughout the piece.
While there is a striking balance between the novel and the book, there are still some scenes that were altered because the movie is a mere adaptation of the novel and not a screen play. In the novel, the wartime bombing raids by the Nazis in London is only mentioned, but there are no details on the event. However, in the movie there is the scene as the Pevensies run for shelter when the bomb lands. There are other differences in the novel and the movie but it does not detract from the major events that happen. The scene with the closet is common in both pieces even though the introduction to the closet is different in the novel and the movie. In the book, Lewis shows that Lucy goes into the wardrobe as soon as the children begin to explore the new house, but the movie gives a variation to the scene as Lucy hides in the closet when the children are playing the game of hide and go seek. However, Lucy makes her second entry into the closet during the game of hide and seeks. Edmund goes with her for the first time, but the movies shows that Lucy enters the closet for the second time during the middle of the night and at this point Edmund follows her and they enter Narnia.
These simple adjustments to the scenes do not strike any outstanding misinterpretations of the novel. Despite the ways in which the scene in the closet is presented, the general idea is that the youngest child, Lucy, finds a wardrobe which eventually leads the children to a magical land, Narnia. But, Narnia is under the rule of the wicked White Witch. The adventure in the both pieces keeps the audience enthralled as the old prophecy suggested that “Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan are the chosen ones who will defeat the Witch.”The White Witch wears a crown of ice on her blond hair in the movie, but her crown is made of gold and sits on her black hair in the novel. The battle that takes place at Beruna and starts with the arrival when Lucy, Susan, and Asian arrive on the scene, yet the movie shows the full battle. The Generals Oreius and Otmin participate in the story, but are omitted in the film.
After Edmund arrives at Jadis’ house, Tumnus was turned into stone, yet the movie shows that Tumnus and Edmund are together in the cell when they are in the home of Jadis. While, the readers of the book would clearly see the difference, the movie lovers would overlook this tiny detail. But, one of the most striking differences in both pieces is the fact that the White Witch turns some of the people of Narnia into stone after the Fox tells her about Father Christmas. On the other hand, the movie presents the scene slightly different as the White Witch turns the Fox into stone after Edmund informs her of their association with Alsan. The second most striking difference comes through the scene where Alsan serves as the guide to Peter’s actions when he tells Peter to lead the people of Narnia without him. But, the viewers see a different type of maturity in Peter when he tries to make the decision about what to do after the Dryads inform him of Alsan’s death.
The viewers realize that Lewis and director Adamson retells the story of the Christian teachings of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through Aslan and the event sin Narnia. Adamson makes use of rich visual and auditory imagery to recreate the magic in the story. On the other hand, Lewis makes use of several literary devices to recreate or transform this message to his young audience. The vivid difference in the way Lewis retells this Biblical story lies in the way he uses the lion imagery and the setting of the story in Narnia. The Bible makes reference to the lion in Genesis 49:9: "You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son” and again in Hosea 11:10: "A king's wrath is like the roar of a lion." Lewis’ reference to the lion solidifies his Christian belief and the fact that he wants to share the Christian message with his audience. Arguably, Lewis’ use of the lion as the representation of Christ is no unique, but the idea is clear: children will be better able to relate to the death of a strong and mighty lion instead of the death of a human. Scott suggests that “Lewis's religious intentions have either been obvious, invisible or beside the point,” and Adamson brings this concept to the forefront in the film.
Lewis’ use of the magical realm is superb and Adamson brings this out quite remarkably in the film adaptation. Children are often fascinated by the magical world and the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus and Aslan ties in beautifully in both the film and the novel. The truth is that the younger audience will gravitate towards the magical realm than the Biblical implications of the story of the resurrection. The use of children in both pieces is ideal as Lewis establishes his role as an entertainer of the youth and allows children the opportunity to fully appreciate the complex story of the resurrection through a fantasy world.
In concluding, most film adaptations do not do justice to the most novels. However, the movie, The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe give a true reflection of the major themes in the novel. The actors bring out the remarkable Christian principles of love, forgiveness and salvation in its truest form and leaves Christian and non-Christian readers with emotions that touches the heart of their Christian beliefs. Of course, there are slight adjustments or changes to the adaptation of the novel, but the simple moments of when the magical closet is discovered or the color of the White Witches hair have no significant impact on the biblical allusions in both pieces and appeals to the God-fearing and the atheist.
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