Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Thoughts on The Magician's Nephew

Some of you may already know that I am reading the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia.

I mentioned to ChasezGranger this:
"What an obnoxious whimp Uncle Andrew is. I have to give it to Lewis, who has created a very human villian in Uncle Andrew. Yes, he is a coward, and he keeps mistreating the children, meanwhile he is sucking up to the witch, Queen Jadis. He is, however, not a stupid follower. He does recognize that Jadis is not a person he wants to commit to, but this is for his own personal greedy reasons, not because he sees the evil in the acts she commits."

To which she replied:
"Your description of Uncle Andrew reminds me very much of Peter Pettigrew."

ChasezGranger has spotted a very good parallel between the two characters. For those who don't know, Peter Pettigrew is a character from the Harry Potter books, who betrayed James and Lily to Lord Voldemort, and subsequently their death. Peter decided to help Lord Voldemort because he thought that it would benefit him to do so, and he probably believed that when LV gained dominion over the entire world, Peter himself will be spared death. So far, he has helped LV to be reborn in the flesh, and LV has given him a silver hand in return. We don't know what will happen to Peter Pettigrew as yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.

JK Rowling has announced that she has started writing book 7, which means that she has finished book 6! Hopefully, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince will be published in the summer of 2005. That would be splendid! =D

Back to The Magician's Nephew, I've noticed a lot of parallels between this story and that of the book of Genesis. In the land of Narnia, Aslan the Lion tells Digory to go to the valley of green fields beyond the falls. There he will find an apple tree and he is to pick an apple from that tree. This is like the pomegranate tree that Eve was faced with. When Digory arrives and plucks an apple from the tree, he encounters the evil witch, Queen Jadis. She tempts him to eat an apple from the tree. She has already eaten one, and Digory can tell that the apple has made her stronger and younger. She tells him, eat an apple so that you can live longer. Take one to your mother so that she will be healed from her illness, and then she won't die. Digory was at first very tempted, until Queen Jadis says, "don't worry, no one shall know about your eating the apple, not if you leave here afterwards and you leave Polly here. No one in your own world would know."

That snapped Digory back to his senses because the thought of abandoning his best friend, Polly, was so terrible to him. In the end, he took an apple back to Aslan and all was well.

There are also thematic similarities between the story of Narnia and that of Genesis. Aslan describes how Queen Jadis may live a very long time, but because of her eating of the apple from the tree, she has forfeited any chance of redemption and she will never see true love again. That is worse than dying. From now on, if she ever smells the scent of the apple, it will smell rank to her and she will never see the beauty of Narnia ever again.

Besides the similarities to the book of Genesis, I also noticed a lot of similarities between this story and Harry Potter. In this section of the story, Digory and Polly ride on Fledge, a horse that has been transformed into a pegasus by Aslan. This reminds me of Harry and Hermione riding Buckbeak the hippogriff. There is a passage where it describes the landscape of Narnia, when Digory and Polly were resting after a day of journeying in the sky. It was night time, and when they rested, they heard the sound of the river, and they saw the beauty of the night sky. This is so strongly reminiscent of Harry and Hermione's adventure in the Forbidden Forest, during the Time Turner sequence in the novel, The Prizoner of Azkaban. There, JK Rowling describes the moonlight and the rustling of the leaves in the trees overhead. The imagery of the nature surrounding both these pairs are so lovely.

That's all I have to write on Narnia. I hope to get The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe soon. Then I can read about the next stage of adventures.

1 comment:

chasezgranger said...

I had not noticed the Genesis and Narnia comparison. Thank you for pointint that out.

When Digory and Polly rode on the flying horse, I also automatically thought of Harry and Hermione. And it's interesting to note that JKR did choose, not just a regular flying horse, or bring Pegasus into the series, but a creature that represents "impossible love." That gives you something to think about.