I have to admit, the novelty of the other books I read in the Chronicles of Narnia had the element of novelty to it that just isn’t on this book’s side. I didn’t anticipate much since the story is so familiar already. However, the familiarity allowed me to pay attention to the details without getting lost.
Edmund’s character really stood out to me here. The overt allegory that Lewis creates with Narnia and the gospel is just so amazing — how could I have missed it the first time? Edmund’s interaction with Aslan was a great reminder of my own salvation. Though I didn’t give up my family to a magic character like the White Witch, my selfishness has led me to actions that only had my benefit in mind and caused other people pain. Edmund, I believe, is the first sibling to truly receive the grace of salvation. This is a topic that I am always discussing, but I firmly believe that this is because Edmund’s sin is outward and easy to spot. For others where sin is buried very deep within, it is harder to weed out and address.
I found it interesting that Aslan is escorted to the Stone Table by Lucy and Susan. They are also the ones to go to him after the sacrifice. I made a mental note that Mary Magdalene and another woman were the first to see Jesus after his resurrection. I like how Lewis makes it a point to call out what each character feels internally when looking upon Aslan — a very sure indicator of the condition of their heart.
I tried to see if I could draw a parallel with the events that happened right after Aslan’s resurrection. They go to the White Witch’s castle and save all the creatures who had been turned into stone. Could this be representative of Christ washing away all believers’ sins and freeing them from themselves? Could it be a metaphor for dying to self (turned into stone) and being reborn (Aslan breathing on them and coming back to life)?
I couldn’t quite make out what the last battle could really represent, except that Good will always conquer Evil.
Needless to say, I enjoyed noticing the details of the book since I wasn’t caught up in the curiosity of what would happen next.
In adding these books to Goodreads I’ve come to realize that the order in which Scholastic published them is not the original that was published when they were first released. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was actually the first book in the series, and The Magician’s Nephew was second to last. I can see how this would be more appropriate — a prequel being released at the end of a series. I don’t like that Scholastic took the liberty of reordering it and am contemplating getting a different set. Unfortunately, I can’t unread The Magician’s Nephew, so I’ll have to live with knowing the story of how and when Narnia was created.