THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE To Lucy Barfield On the Dedication Page: My dear Lucy, I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis Background Started in 1939, then stopped. Started again in Summer, 1948. Finished in Spring, 1949. Published in 1950. “It All Began with a Picture…” George Sayer: Lewis would say, “But it’s there for the story.” Lewis: “No, I didn’t start with four real children in mind: I just made them up.” More Background The year is 1000 in Narnian time and 1940 in English time. Jadis returned to Narnia in 898, and the long winter began in 900. They hunt the White Stag in 1015. Lindskoog’s Favorite Quotation At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more . . . And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. Kathryn Lindskoog, Journey into Narnia, p. 107. Discussion Questions What is the role of Susan and Lucy during the “passion” of Aslan. Other parallels to Scripture? The Main Theme: Frozen to Thawed (Lindskoog, 101). What was frozen and then thawed? What biblical themes do you find, e.g., p. 71, “a very truthful girl”? (continue here!) What role does prophecy play in this book? How much of Christ’s life do you find? How would the non-Christian handle the parts of Christ’s life? How do you? What examples of foreshadowing can you find? Tension? More Discussion Questions How does Lewis describe the human conscience? What does Lewis say about school? Can you discover any other references to C. S. Lewis’s life? How does the Gospel play out for Edmund? How do the power of God and the actions of the four children relate to one another? In other words, when and how is God at work? When and how are the children active? How would a Christian school use this book in a reading class? At what level? Where does the Stone Table come from and what does it mean? The Trinity in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Where are the three? What is the role of Father Christmas in the story? More Discussion Questions “Whatever stands out from the common ground is often important in stories. Eight characters are named on the first page of this story, but the Professor is not named, being known to us only by a professional title. What is the effect of this omission of the professor’s name?” (Ryken & Mead, 23) What is the most vivid, the most memorable, and the most meaningful scene? (Lindskoog, 114) Ten Facts That Add Meaning Pevensie. Pevensey Bay, Normans landed in 1066. Kirke and Macready. Digory Kirke. Kirk is a Scottish form of the word church. Kirkpatrick? As boys, Jack and Warren had a housekeeper named Mrs. McCreedy. Bigwardrobeinspareroom. E. Nesbit’s “The Aunt and Amabel.” Modesty. Mr. Beaver about his house and Lewis about the book. Animal Characters. Peter thinks of eagles, stags, and hawks; Lucy of badgers; Edmund of snakes; and Susan of foxes. Fur. Lucy enjoys, foreshadowing her enjoyment of Aslan’s fur. The Right Side. Moral choice by Tumnus, Peter, and Maugrim. New Names. “Peter the Magnificent,” “Susan the Gentle,” “Edmund the Just,” “Lucy the Valiant.” Father Christmas and the Trinity. Dedication. Lucy got multiple scleroris. “And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.” Factual Quiz Just for Fun Lucy entered Narnia through the Wardrobe (a) once, (b) twice, (c) three times, (d) four times. Answer: c The first to risk his life for another was (a) the old professor, (b) the Faun, (c) Aslan, (d) Rumblebuffin. Answer: b “At the sound of his roar, ________ will be no more.” (a) winter, (b) summer, (c) sorrows, (d) deep magic. Answer: c The name of the White Witch was (a) Jadis, (b) Lilith, (c) Wanda, (d) Wraithe. Answer: a Peter obeyed Aslan and risked his life killing the wolf in order to save Answer: b (a) Edmund, (b) Susan, (c) Lucy, (d) the Faun. Aslan died for the sins of (a) Adam, (b) all humankind, (c) Jadis, (d) Edmund. Answer: d The four kings and queens were finally led back to this world by a creature the Faun had told Lucy about on her first visit: (a) a talking robin, (b) a magic White Stag, (c) Mr. Beaver, (d) a Red Dwarf. Answer: b Benediction May Aslan restore all names to their proper owners. May the warmth of his breath come over us. May his breath bring the stone parts of us to life. May we live on both sides of the wardrobe door.