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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18454/IRJ.2016.54.024

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Torres Servin S., "THE GENESIS OF NARNIA AND THE BIBLE. THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW AND THE BOOK OF GENESIS". Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal (International Research Journal) № 12 (54) Part 4, (2016): 82. Mon. 28. Nov. 2016.
Torres, Servin S. (2016). NARNIYA I BIBLIYA. ISTOKI KNIGI HRONIKI CHARODEYA V KNIGE BYTIYA [THE GENESIS OF NARNIA AND THE BIBLE. THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW AND THE BOOK OF GENESIS]. Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal, № 12 (54) Part 4, 82-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.18454/IRJ.2016.54.024
Torres Servin. S. THE GENESIS OF NARNIA AND THE BIBLE. THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW AND THE BOOK OF GENESIS / Servin. S. Torres // Mezhdunarodnyj nauchno-issledovatel'skij zhurnal. — 2016. — № 12 (54) Part 4. — С. 82—87. doi: 10.18454/IRJ.2016.54.024

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THE GENESIS OF NARNIA AND THE BIBLE. THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW AND THE BOOK OF GENESIS

Торрес Сервин C.

PhD, Университет иностранных языков Хангук

НАРНИЯ И БИБЛИЯ. ИСТОКИ КНИГИ ХРОНИКИ ЧАРОДЕЯ В КНИГЕ БЫТИЯ

Аннотация

В данной статье проводится анализ процесса создания мира Нарнии К. Л. Льюиса через призму библейского повествования, что позволяет провести параллель между двумя историями. Существует множество сходств и различий между библейской историей и миром К. Л. Льюиса. Данный факт позволяет установить творческую связь между этими произведениями. Совершенно ясно что К. Л. Льюис позаимствовал многие линии повествования Нарнии из Книги Бытия.  Его герои, а также, события знаменующие начало Нарнии, представляют собой любопытный материал для исследования. Мы проводим анализ исходя именно из этого соображения. История Нарнии интересна повествовательной линией, которую Льюис почерпнул в Библии. Произведения перекликаются и контрастируют, что вносит определенную новизну в историю Льюиса. Любопытным является определение этих параллелей, но параллели, построенные на контрасте это именно то, что делает Племянника Чародея такой интересной и уникальной книгой.

Ключевые слова: генезис, создание, сходства, контрасты.

Torres Servin S.

PhD, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

THE GENESIS OF NARNIA AND THE BIBLE. THE MAGICIAN’S NEPHEW AND THE BOOK OF GENESIS

This work was supported by the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund of 2016 

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to look into the creation process of Narnia, according to C. S. Lewis, and the creation of the world, according to the biblical narrative, in order to establish a parallel thread that links the two stories. There are numerous similarities and differences between the Narnia story, The Magician’s Nephew, and the Genesis narrative. This fact relates them in a unique and creative way. It is clear that Lewis drew on the Genesis narrative to craft his creation and establishment of Narnia, but the way in which he set the characters and events taking place in the beginnings of Narnia can be remarkable, due precisely, many times, to the contrasting ways in which he brings them together. It is from that background platform that this analysis is approached. Needless to say that the Narnia story is greatly enriched by the way Lewis drew his narrative from the Bible. The contrasts are rich and the minute contrastive or similar details bring a new freshness to the story. In determining similarities, parallelism is usually an interesting factor, but parallelisms made up of contrasting aspects is what makes The Magician’s Nephew story so new, unique, different, and interesting. 

Keywords: genesis, creation, similarities, contrasts. 

The Magician’s Nephew from the Genesis Perspective

Any origin has in itself the seed of all manners of possibility in the settings of its newness. The new created world according to the Bible, and the newly created Narnia according to The Magician’s Nephew, by God and Aslan respectively, are two scenarios open to a mosaic of probable and possible occurrences. In such new settings, then, anything can happen. But Lewis needed to come up with a different model and give the creation of Narnia a new angle, a different perspective, not just follow the biblical model. It would have been odd to have a Narnian creation that was similar to the Genesis creation. The reading of a similar story would not make any difference. If both stories shared the same elements, it would certainly not call the world’s attention. But Lewis knew better. Thus he played his cards right and what he did with the narrative of the creation of Narnia with all the supporting events is beyond doubt a masterful touch.

Instead of simply having a model already known by Christianity, Lewis looked at the Genesis model and produced the narrative of the Narnia creation by contrast. That element of contrast gives the Narnia creation story a very special flair, the kind that only the great writers know how to master. The Magician’s Nephew is a little masterpiece of artistic imagination. The differences and similarities that it shares with the Genesis record uniquely knit and interwoven. The creation of Narnia is a consummate factory of wit, imagination, artistry, and intelligence.

In that intelligent design created by Lewis, as a starting point it can be noted that according to biblical records, the world was in utter darkness at the moment of its creation. In the Narnia story, when the leading children characters Digory and Polly are trying to take the evil Queen Jadis away from our world with the use of magic they end in a very dark place. Queen Jaids says that “this is nothing” (TMN 113), referring to the fact that there was nothing there, except for the utter darkness. Lewis comments that the place where they are now really is “uncommonly like Nothing,” that there are no stars there, and that “it was so dark that they couldn’t see one another at all and it made no difference whether you kept your eyes shut or open” (114).

When the biblical world was created, it was disorderly, void, and dark. There was, however, “something” there. There already was an earth previously created when God produced light and life. Similarly in Narnia, when Digory and Polly are still traveling by magic taking Queen Jadis away from their world, after much traveling they do not seem to be getting there. Polly points out, “Oughtn’t we to be nearly there now?” “We do seem to be somewhere,” said Digory. “At least I’m standing on something solid.” “Why, so am I, now that I come to think of it,” said Polly. “But why’s it so dark?” (TMN 113). There is darkness in both creation scenarios.

Lewis points out that “Under their feet there was a cool, flat something which might have been earth, and was certainly not grass or wood” (114). Digory, Polly, and Jadis land in the world that is about to be created as Narnia, and there is solid ground already before its creation. So in both creation accounts there already existed a place that was to be the stage for the adornment that was about to be poured in. Then a voice begins to sing in Narnia. Then more voices join in the singing, in harmony. Immediately blazing stars start to appear, as well as constellations and planets. In Genesis 1:14-18 God created the sun, moon and stars by calling them into existence. The book of Job states that the stars would sing at creation.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7).

In Narnia, after the stars appear, the dark sky gets lighter and lighter and then the sun arises. Now everything is visible to Digory and Polly and their company. There are mountains and rivers and hills there. In Genesis 1:6-8 God separated the existing water and earth on the second day. Then the singing goes on in Narnia. It is Aslan the Creator —a Lion— who is bringing the world to life through His singing. Now grass starts to cover the land, the hills, the mountains, and then trees begin to sprout from the land and flowers grow all around. In Genesis 1:11, 12 God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth’”. Then the earth produced grass, herbs with seed according to its kind, and the fruit trees, with seeds according to its kind. And to God those created things were good.

Both in Narnia and in Genesis the creation process was good and harmonic. The next act of creation in Narnia and in Genesis is the creation of animals. On the fifth day God created birds and all kinds of fish and sea animals, and the sixth day saw the earth produce all kinds of living animals. In Genesis the crown on creation came on the sixth day, when God created man. In Narnia the creation of the animals and particularly the gift of speech that Aslan gives to certain animals constitute the ultimate act of creation. They were the ones who would be the crown of creation in that land. They were to be different from the rest.

After God created the world, He submitted everything He had just created to Adam and Eve, for them to be in charge of caring for His created world. The book of Genesis depicts God handing over the created surrounding world to man, and saying,

“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so (Genesis 1:28-30).

In turn Chapter 10 of The Magician’s Nephew is the portrayal of Aslan handing in the whole of the new creation to his Talking Animals in order for them to care for it:

“Creatures, I give you yourselves,” said the strong, happy voice of Aslan. “I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give to you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gently and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so” (TMN 140).

An important aspect of the biblical narrative is the test to which the creature is subjected to, having his obedience and submission to his Creator as the parameter by which to measure the extent of his will to actually comply with his Creator’s wish. A very common aspect of human life is the fact that every privilege or right that a person gains or adheres to carries with it a corresponding or a higher degree of responsibility. That responsibility is not a viable choice but becomes a moral obligation. In Genesis 2:8, 9 the test to which our fist parents were exposed to was expressed by God Himself, when He spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden where they spent their days taking care of God’s creation. God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there “He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

On the other hand, Genesis 2:15-17 states that “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” The divine order was clear for them to understand. The warning of not obeying the order was also clear. Man would certainly die, spiritually first, and finally physically as well, if he did not obey God’s commands. This was the test to which God submitted Adam and Eve in Eden. He wanted to test their obedience to Him.

In Narnia Digory is responsible for bringing evil in the person of Queen Jadis, who is in actuality a Witch. He has put all of Narnia in jeopardy by his action. Now Aslan has do deal with the boy and put things to right. This is the testing point for Digory. In the same way that God said to Adam and Eve that they were not to eat of a certain tree, on this occasion Aslan speaks to Digory and says,

“But I have to think of hundreds of years in the life of Narnia. The witch whom you have brought into this world will come to Narnia again. But it need not be yet. It is my wish to plant in Narnia a tree that she will not dare to approach, and that tree will protect Narnia from her many years. So this land shall have a long, bright morning before any clouds come over the sun. You must get me the seed from which that tree is to grow” (TMN 168).

In Genesis a tree will be the focal element through which man’s obedience was to be tested. In Narnia, a tree was to bring salvation and the restoration of all things. In this context, Aslan gives his instructions of what Digory has to do in order to conform to His commands, “I will tell you what you must do.” Then he goes on giving the precise directions for Digory’s test, one that will prove whether the boy is worthy to be listened to in regards to his plea for a cure for his Mother. “You must journey though those mountains till you find a green valley with a blue lake in it, walled round by mountains of ice. At the end of the lake there is a steep, green hill. On the top of that hill there is a garden. In the center of the garden is a tree. Pluck an apple from that tree and bring it back to me” (169, 170). In Genesis the opposite was true and the consequence would be that “the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Another crucial point in both stories, in a contrastive way, is that Eve was in a special and beautiful garden with a tree at the center of it. She is not supposed to eat of the fruit of that tree. But Genesis 3:6 states “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. Conversely, Digory is outside of the garden where there also is a tree in the middle of it. He has the specific task of plucking one fruit from that treein contrast to Eve’s order. However, Digory has before him “high gates of gold, fast shut, facing due east” (187). The tree is well protected, with no easy access, before anything remarkable happens. Nevertheless Digory walks toward the gates and when he touches them they open inward without a noise. At that precise moment the temptress —Jadis, the Queen and Witch—materializes to do after the design of her wicked heart.

In the Garden of Eden the Wicked One also materializes to speak misleading words, contrary to the order that God had given. The Devil, in the form of a serpent, spoke to her innermost desires and secret longings. He appealed to what he knew was the most fragile part of her being. He appealed to her pride and vanity and maybe even to her unconscious desires. He appealed to her emotions, her senses, and her will. She in turn rationalized God’s own words and came to her own personal conclusion. The tempter assured her that she and Adam would be like God, knowing good and evil and she coveted such lofty rank. He said they would never die if they ate the fruit, but God had stated that they would.

The Bible does not say so but what kind of a spiritual battle must have gone in Eve’s heart and mind? Nobody knows for certain, but the result of the singular offer was the demolishing of any barriers that must have been left in Eve’s mind. She conceded. She surrendered. She went along the tempter’s cunning. She took the fruit and not only ate it but gave it to Adam as well. The man also partook of it, in full knowledge of what the consequences of such breaking of trust would be. They failed the test. They were reprobates.

As far as Digory is concerned, he has no conflict regarding the plucking of the apple. He had received the order of plucking it. After reading a notice with some strange commands on the gate he goes straight to the tree and picks one silver fruit. He does not eat it but cannot help looking at it closely and smelling it. The problem starts after doing this because “a terrible thirst and hunger came over him and a longing to taste that fruit. He put it hastily onto his pocket; but there were plenty of others. Could it be wrong to taste one? After all, he thought, the notice on the gate might not have been exactly an order; it might have been only a piece of advice—and who cares about a piece of advice?” (189, 190). One line of the notice read Take of my fruit for others to forbear.

Digory, however just like Eve, starts to rationalize the truth and trying to find his own way of interpreting the command. “Or even if it was an order, would he be disobeying by eating an apple? He had already obeyed the part about taking one ‘for others’” (190). He has certainly done his duty. He has plucked the apple and put it in his pocket. But finally his mind is made. He will not eat the fruit. The battle has not been an easy one, but by providential assistance there appears right there a big bird that keeps looking at Digory. The fact that the bird keeps watching him helps Digory to refrain from his physical and emotional longing to follow his instincts and taste the coveted fruit. He is victorious. He has passed the test. He is approved.

“Digory was just turning to go back to the gates when he stopped to have one last look round. He got a terrible shock. He was not alone. There, only a few yards away from him stood the Witch” (190). The temptress has arrived, just like the tempter did in Eden. “The Witch looked stronger and prouder than ever, and even, in a way, triumphant” (191). Digory senses something wrong about her “and ran for the gates as hard as he could pelt.” But she comes close after him and the awful confrontation mixed with temptation starts. Just like in Eden.

The Witch says that if Digory does not listen to her he will miss “some knowledge that would have made you happy all your life” (191). “Well I don’t want to hear it, thanks,” said Digory. But he did.” Just Like Eve. She wanted to hear and she heard. And now the temptress, just as the tempter did to Eve, starts his subtle attack on Digory, an attack bathed in logic and common sense seeking to persuade the boy. The Witch starts by attacking Aslan’s integrity, undermining His good intentions and reasons so as to plant the seed of doubt in Digory’s mind. She knows for sure that harmful doubt is a very efficient tool once it is implanted in the mind, and so she makes good use of it.

“You have plucked fruit in the garden yonder. You have it in your pocket now. And you are going to carry it back, un-tasted, to the Lion; for him to eat, for him to use. You simpleton! Do you know what that fruit is? I will tell you. It is the apple of youth, the apple of life. I know, for I have tasted it; and I feel already such changes in myself that I know I shall never grow old or die. Eat, Boy, eat it; and you and I will both live forever and be king and queen of this whole world—or of your world, if we decide to go back there” (192).

The temptress appeals to Digory’s desire for eternal life, power, authority, and vanity. She aims at his intellect and pride. He offers him to be King of that land, to reign with her. Who would not like to live forever and be a king, that is, have all the power and do as one pleased? But the Witch finds no response there. Digory is not interested in living eternally while all the people he knows are dead. He prefers to live an ordinary time and then die and go to heaven. He then is able to resist the first attack, however fierce it has been. The first blow thrown by evil has been avoided. Digory is a good boy.

Interestingly, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, where Jadis is the White Witch, the de facto Queen of Narnia, she also offers a kingdom to Edmund (LWW 40). But in neither of these instances does the kingdom belong to her. Upon seeing that she is not able to move Digory from the solid ground on which he stands, the Witch now changes tactics and hits home when she fires at him, “But what about this Mother of yours whom you pretend to love so?” (TMN 192). Digory’s Mother is dying, and the boy will do anything to find a cure for her. What has motivated Digory to approach Aslan after the creation of Narnia, in the first place, is to ask the Lion for a cure for his beloved Mother. But now that the temptress speaks these words, Digory cannot see the point and “What’s she got to do with it?” said Digory” (192).

In his innocent child’s mind Digory has not even contemplated the possibility of using the apple for purposes other than the one Aslan has ordered. Deep in the boy’s mind lays the sense of responsibility towards Aslan. Digory has committed himself to taking the apple to Aslan. That is the way he is going to make up for the terrible mistake he has made bringing the Witch to Narnia. Digory is true to himself and the teachings he has received from his Mother. She has taught him about being a good boy. But the Witch charges once again.

“Do you not see, Fool, that one bite of that apple would heal her? You have it in your pocket. We are here by ourselves and the Lion is far away. Use your magic and go back to your own world. A minute later you can be at your Mother’s bedside, giving her the fruit. Five minutes later you will see the color coming back to her face. She will tell you the pain is gone. Soon she will tell you she feels stronger. Then she will fall asleep—think of that; hours of sweet natural sleep, without pain, without drugs. Next day everyone will be saying how wonderfully she has recovered. Soon she will be quite well again. All will be well again. Your home will be happy again. You will be like other boys.”

“Oh!” gasped Digory as if he had been hurt, and put his hand to his head. For he now knew that the most terrible choice lay before him. (192).

Now it is a different matter altogether. The temptress goes directly to the point that hurts Digory the most. He has thought of finding the tree of youth for his Mother before. And now he has the very fruit right there in his pocket. The extremely beneficial result of taking it to his ailing Mother would have double impact. She would get her health back and he, Digory, “would be like other boys again,” as the Witch has said.

 A lot has changed for Digory since he moved to London from the country because of his Mother’s serious condition. He does not like the city. His Father is away in India serving in the army. That is not life. Everything has been disrupted and uprooted for the boy. But now he can get his life back. Thus the offer then that “all will be well again” and that his home “will be happy again” is a powerful enticement that makes Digory start to contemplate the idea of sneaking out of Narnia taking the apple to his Mother. But the Witch keeps talking now that she knows she has the boy’s total attention. In her shrewdness she knows that she might be close to victory. This time she aims at Aslan’s integrity.

“What has the Lion ever done for you that you should be his slave?” said the Witch. “What can he do to you once you are back in your own world? And what would your Mother think if she knew that you could have taken her pain away and given her back her life and saved your Father’s heart from being broken, and that you wouldn’t—that you’d rather run messages for a wild animal in a strange world that is no business of yours?” (193).

The Witch uses half-truths, in the same way that Satan the serpent used half-truths in Eden. God had said that if they ate of the fruit, they would certainly die. But the Devil said they would not, but rather be like God. Now in Narnia, the Witch’s reasoning is in a way right, but not altogether right. In his young mind, Digory is not prepared to face such crushing confrontation. When the boy replies that he does not think Aslan is a wild animal—it is as if he does not even know what or how to respond to the Witch’s smashing accusations so unexpected they are—the temptress attacks once again, cruelly and quickly.

“Then he is something worse,” said the Witch. “Look what he has done to you already; look how heartless he has made you. That is what he does to everyone who listens to him. Cruel, pitiless boy! You would let your own Mother die rather than—”

“Oh shut up,” said the miserable Digory, still in the same voice. “Do you think I don’t see? But I—I promised.” (193, 194)

Now the Witch has cornered Digory into agreeing to her words. He accepts her words that Aslan has even made him a heartless boy. He has no way out. He has no argument against her artful collocation of words and half-truths. How can he? He is a young boy while she is an old evil and all-powerful Queen and a Witch. And yet, in spite of the terribly difficult anguish Digory is experiencing, there is a blatant truth he cannot deny or forget—he promised Aslan he would take the apple back to him.

Perhaps Digory is now remembering Aslan’s words “You must get me the seed from which that tree is to grow” to which he had responded, “Yes, Sir.” And again “Pluck an apple from that tree and bring it back to me” and Digory again saying, “Yes, Sir” (170). He is a boy who keeps promises. But the Witch, once again, in her spirit of deception and illusion, finds a way to accommodate the simple and truthful promise that was done in obedience, expectancy, and hope. She charges once again sayings, “Ah, but you didn’t know what you were promising” (194). She is now even justifying Digory, finding a perfect excuse for what he had done “in ignorance.”

Digory has no arguments left with which to refute the cunning Witch. She first attacks Aslan and undermines His character, then she goes on to use his Mother as a decoy to move him to compassion. He refutes her arguments opposing them, but now he has nothing else to say. Therefore he turns to a final vital resource—his Mother. “Mother herself,” said Digory, getting the words out with difficulty, “wouldn’t like it—awfully strict about keeping promises—and not stealing—and all that sort of thing. She’d tell me not to do it—quick as anything—if she was here” (194).

Not knowing how to respond to the situation, Digory affirms himself in the certainty of the knowledge he has of his Mother, of her words that he knows well. He knows exactly what she would expect him to do on an occasion like this, without any doubt. The certainty of his knowledge brings Digory conviction and the right perspective of mind again. But the Witch attacks again, perhaps in the belief that this will be her final thrust. She cannot let herself lose a battle to a mere Human Boy.

“But she need never know,” said the Witch, speaking more sweetly than you have thought anyone with so fierce a face could speak. “You wouldn’t tell her how you’d got the apple. Your Father need never know. No one in your world need know anything about this whole story. You needn’t take the little girl back with you, you know” (194).

First it is Aslan, then Digory’s Mother, and his Father too, and now finally, also Polly comes into the Witch’s scenario. But luckily for Digory,

That was where the Witch made her fatal mistake. Of course Digory knew that Polly could get away by her own ring as easily as he could get away with his. But apparently the Witch didn’t know this. And the meanness of the suggestion that he could leave Polly behind suddenly made all the other things the Witch had been saying to him sound false and hollow. And even in the midst of all his misery, his head suddenly cleared, and he said (in a different and much louder voice):

“Look here; where do you come into all this? Why are you so precious fond of my Mother all of a sudden? What’s it got to do with you? What’s your game?” (194, 195).

Digory is finally able to see where everything that has been said is leading to and he does not like it. He can now see the deceit, the falseness, the utter lie that the Witch is. And the boy does what the apostle James commands the children of God to do in situations like this: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” (James 4:7). Digory has done just that. He begins by acknowledging his mistake and submitting to Aslan. And right now he resists the Witch in a way that she has no business left with him. Facing up to the Witch’s deceit and deception breaks the dominion she was having on Digory’s emotions, intellect, and will.

Digory thus is able to get away with his friend Polly, while the Witch still echoes her mind once again. “Go then, Fools,” called the Witch. “Think of me, Boy, when you lie old and weak and dying, and remember how you threw away the chance of endless youth! It won’t be offered you again” (195). Digory and Polly are not in the least interested. The mission has been accomplished —Digory gets the apple and he is taking it to Aslan. Digory conquers. He is victorious. But he has conflictive feelings. It has been an exhausting spiritual and emotional battle. “Digory never spoke on the way back… He was very sad and he wasn’t even sure all the time that he had done the right thing; but whenever he remembered the shining tears in Aslan’s eyes he became sure” (195, 196).

In stark contrast with Eve in the Garden of Eden, who had finally succumbed to the tempter’s suave words, Digory is able to overcome himself, his own doubts, and ultimately the Witch. In the final analysis, he is redeemed by love —love for Aslan, for his Mother, and for his friend Polly. When Aslan says to him, “Well done,” making the earth shake, Digory “had forgotten his troubles and felt absolutely content” (197). Then “Well done, Son of Adam,” says the Lion again. “For this fruit you have hungered and thirsted and wept. No hand but yours shall sow the seed of the Tree that is to be the protection of Narnia” (198). This is a faint echo of Matthew 25:21, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Digory is redeemed by love but also by obedience. He has defined what his priority is and acts on that assurance.

However, the Witch, who has been a Queen before, but has lost her high position because of her envy, jealousy, and wicked desire for power, goes against Aslan’s wishes and orders of her own will. She gets to eat of the fruit that only Digory has the command to pluck. The notice that Digory encountered at the gates of gold in Aslan’s garden specifically read,

Come in by the golden gates or not at all,

Take of my fruit for others to forbear,

For those who steal or those who climb my wall

Shall find their heart’s desire and find despair (187).

The Witch climbs through the wall —Digory goes in through the gates— and steals the fruit and eats it. Aslan says she will not get close to Narnia now because “that is why all the rest are now a horror to her. That is what happens to those who pluck and eat fruits at the wrong time and in the wrong way. The fruit is good, but they loathe it ever after” (207).

“Oh I see,” said Polly. “And I suppose because she took it in the wrong way it won’t work for her. I mean it won’t make her always young and all that?”

“Alas,” said Aslan, shaking his head. “It will. Things always work according to their nature. She has won her heart’s desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want; they do not always like it” (207, 208).

The Witch is already reaping the fruits of her going against the established design for everybody’s good, even her own. She does not align herself to Aslan’s clear ways and now she has to receive the penalty that is laid on those who do not obey.

“I—I nearly ate one myself, Aslan,” said Digory. “Would— ”

“You would, child,” said Aslan. “For the fruit always works—it must work—but it does not work happily for any who pluck it at their own will. If any Narnian, unbidden, had stolen an apple and planted it here to protect Narnia, it would have protected Narnia. But it would have done so by making Narnia into another strong and cruel empire like Charn, not the kindly land I mean it to be. And the Witch tempted you to do another thing, my son, did she not?”

“Yes, Aslan. She wanted me to take an apple home to my

Mother.”

“Understand, then, that it would have healed her; but not to your joy or hers. The day would have come when both you and she would have looked back and said it would have been better to die in that illness” (208, 209).

Digory thinks that was the end of any hope of cure for his beloved Mother. But Aslan now speaks to him and says things that will raise new hopes in the boy’s heart.

“That is what would have happened, child, with a stolen apple. It is not what will happen now. What I give you now will bring joy. It will not, in your world, give endless life, but it will heal. Go. Pluck an apple from the Tree.”

For a second Digory could hardly understand. It was as if the whole world had turned inside out and upside down. And then, like someone in a dream, he was walking across to the Tree…” (209).

Digory goes back in London and gives his Mother the apple and she eats it. Then he buries the core of the apple in the back garden. Soon his Mother is well again and life starts to be great. A little later, a letter comes from Digory’s Father in India telling them that he has inherited a great fortune from an old great-uncle of his who has just died. He is planning to retire from the Army and come home and stay forever. He does so and buys a big country home where they live very happily. In time the core of the apple grows into a huge apple tree in the back garden at Digory’s aunt’s house in London. But once there is a big storm that blows the apple tree down, and Digory uses part of the timber to make a wardrobe with it.

However, contrary to all this happy ending in the life of Digory and his family, the Witch Jadis is forced to live like an errant being, with no company or affection. She is expelled from Narnia, where she can spoil a world that was created in love and innocence. Thus Aslan throws her away in order for her not to be a threat to the newly made world. She certainly posits a potential danger to anything that might come her way. As Queen Jadis she had proven that she had no care or love or feelings for her people. They were there just for her use. She destroyed her world out of pride and jealousy and she was capable of doing it again now. In fact, she was ready to start doing it now, and was asking Digory to be with her.

This is reminder of the story of Cain in the Garden of Eden. According to Genesis, after killing his brother Abel, Cain was also expelled from the land and condemned to become a vagrant being, with no roots, destitute and alone. Besides that, in the same way that Satan—in the condition of a perfect angel—rebelled against his Creator wanting to be like Him before the beginning of time and was cast from heaven to earth and once here he again orchestrated his devilish scheme that brought the whole human race down to collapse, the Witch posits a potential threat to the whole of Narnia. She has gained knowledge and long life, that coupled with her thirst for power will produce only more evil in Narnia. She has certainly found what she was looking for but to what cost? “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” according to Ezekiel 18:4.

Eve and Satan in the Garden of Eden, and Digory and the Witch in the Garden of Narnia are the actors whose actions, reactions, and interactions in the creation drama have caused catastrophic and eternal consequences. The world in Genesis has never been the same again. Now “both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:18, 19). The world in Narnia turns to eternal winter once evil enters. This is the drama of the fall of man and of Narnia. However, in spite of this dreadful situation, there is hope.

There are prophecies of a brighter future for the world. One says “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2). As for Narnia, “But do not be cast down,” said Aslan, still speaking to the Beasts. “Evil will come of that evil, but it is still a long way off, and I will see to it that the worst falls upon myself” (TMN 161). These prophecies speak of a Redeemer and His future work for the good of our world and of Narnia. God promised a Redeemer who would take upon Himself the task of undoing the wrong caused by man in the Garden of Eden. Similarly Aslan placed Himself as the One on whom the damage would befall in the future.

Conclusion

The biblical creation records and the creation of Narnia share many elements either by comparison and contrast or by comparison and similarity. Some of those aspects are the beginning existence of land, the initial darkness, the beginning of light, the orderly creation process, the ultimate creation of life, besides the arrival of evil that brings about catastrophic results. The biblical account and the story contemplate the Fall of man and of Narnia, but at the same time there arises hope by way of future redemption. The prophecies speak of a Redeemer—Christ and Aslan—who would take unto themselves the difficult task of bringing liberation from the captivity of sin and evil brought about by the intervention of Eve in the Garden of Eden, and Digory in the newly created Narnia.

S. Lewis draws from the biblical creation events to portray in The Magician’s Nephew a picture of the fall and redemption of man. One central tree is the main reason that moves Eve to disobey, following her whims, bringing upon herself and humankind eternal consequences. At the same time, one central tree is also the reason that makes a young boy obey and conform to the desires of the divine. That act of obedience brings about redemption and the climax of the story is finally resolved.

Список литературы / References Bassham, G. (2005). The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy: The Lion, the Witch, and the Worldview. Peru, Illinois: Open Court Publishing, 291 p.

Flannagan, R. (2009). The Riverside Milton. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 710 p.

Kilby, C. (1964). The Christian World of C. S. Lewis. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. 190 p.

Lewis, C. S. (1994). The Magician’s Nephew. NY: HarperCollins Pub.,221 p.

Lewis, C. S. . (1994). The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. NY: HarperCollins Pub., 206 p.

Rogers, J. (2005). The World According to Narnia: Christian Meaning in S. Lewis’s Beloved Chronicles. NY: Time Warner Book Group, 176 p

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