So, in addition to STILL plugging my way through Gone with the Wind (I’m loving it! That’s what’s making it so hard to read – I don’t want to leave Scarlett and Rhett behind!), I’m also working my way through the Chronicles of Narnia as a kind of “light” alternative so that my brain doesn’t start feeling too muddly! After getting through The Magician’s Nephew a week or so ago (has it been that long? longer? being unemployed has this weird effect of making time pass weirdly) I was SUPER EXCITED to start reading this book because, while I’ve read it a bunch of times, it still has some of my favorite scenes from possibly the entire series.
Okay. Lets start this off with a little character de-briefing. Now that there is a movie out, and given how popular this volume of the series is, I’m going to skip the summary part. So the Pevensie children – I love two of them. I don’t really care for the other two. Peter and Lucy? Duh-obvs, these two are adorable. I feel like Peter does such a good job of being a big brother and trying to be the High King Peter that Aslan inevitably turns him in to. And Lucy? Well, her pure heart is the one that discovers Narnia and starts us all on the adventure, and she’s really treated so horribly in the beginning, that even from a young age she’s always been one of my favorite characters. But then there are Edmund and Susan. Obviously, Edmund is totally priggish and spoiled and rotten, but I feel like he gets his by the end of the book. And then there is Susan. Susan is just such a stick in the mud (I admit that this reaction may have something to do with knowing how much worse this gets in later books) and she’s just always so willing to give up and turn back, and she just doesn’t seem to have any gumption. Edmund may be horrible in the beginning of the book (I hesitate to say “evil”, because I really don’t think he has a bad heart) but at least he’s got gumption!
And we can’t talk about the characters without talking about all the animals. Mr and Mrs Beaver are just the most adorable couple, and exactly how I picture a cozy little English couple to be. I kind of found something creepy about Mr. Tumnus, something I don’t remember feeling as a kid, but maybe it has something to do with more mature ‘cynicism’ than with the way Lewis meant him to be written. And then there is Aslan. I can’t help but to read him as a Christ figure (I blame confirmation and intro to literary criticism when I was in high school), but I just love him none the less. The fact that even his name brings up different feelings inside people – feelings that help to set thematic themes throughout the novel, serves to illustrate the fact that some part of his power lies within each of us. I love that, while he can be a playful big cat, the scene where he is sacrificed to the White Witch still brings tears to my eyes.
And that’s probably the strongest testament to why I added these books to my list, despite the fact that I’ve already read them. There are some books that you read entirely for one or two scenes. Scenes that make you wish at that moment, more than anything, that you could actually jump in to literature and be there, too, even if just for a moment. And the final scenes of this novel – where the four children are crowned at Cair Paravel, and all of the good animals and creatures of the world, the spirits of the water and earth, the mermaids and giants, all gathered in music and food and color…I’d jump in to that scene in a heartbeat. What about you? What scene would you jump in to? Are there any books you read solely for one scene that gives you chills?