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Thursday, March 26, 2009

children story of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis. Written in 1950 and set in approximately 1940, it is the first-published book of The Chronicles of Narnia and is the best known book of the series. Although it was written and published first, it is second in the series' internal chronological order, after The Magician's Nephew. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.[1]
Lewis dedicated the book to his god-daughter, Lucy Barfield.

Cover of 1950 first edition (hardcover)
Author - C. S. Lewis
Illustrator - Pauline Baynes
Cover artist - Pauline Baynes
Country - United Kingdom
Language - English
Series - The Chronicles of Narnia
Genre(s) - Fantasy, children's literature
Publisher - Geoffrey Bles
Publication date - 1950
Media type - print (hardcover and paperback)
Pages - 208 (modern hardcover)
ISBN - ISBN 0-06-023481-4 (modern hardcover)
Preceded by - The Magician's Nephew(chronology)
Followed by - Prince Caspian (published)The Horse and his Boy(chronology)
Character list
Peter Pevensie is the oldest of the Pevensie siblings. At first, Peter disbelieves Lucy's stories about Narnia, but changes his mind when he sees it for himself. He is hailed as a hero for his part in the overthrow of the White Witch. He is eventually crowned as High King of Narnia, and becomes known as King Peter the Magnificent.
Susan Pevensie is the second oldest of the Pevensie children. She also does not believe in Narnia until she actually comes there. She is crowned High Queen, and becomes known as Queen Susan the Gentle.
Edmund Pevensie is the third of the Pevensie children. In Narnia he meets the White Witch, who plies him with treats (Turkish Delight) and smooth talk. Tempted by the White Witch's promise of power and seemingly unending supplies of Turkish Delight, Edmund betrays his siblings, but eventually regrets his actions and repents. After he helps Aslan and the good citizens of Narnia defeat the White Witch, he is crowned King of Narnia with his brother, and becomes known as King Edmund the Just.
Lucy Pevensie is the youngest Pevensie child. She is the first of them to discover the land of Narnia when she slips through the magical wardrobe in the professor's house. When Lucy tells her siblings, Peter and Susan refuse to believe her and are convinced that she is just having a game, while Edmund persistently encourages and teases her about it. After the restoration of Narnia, Lucy is crowned Queen with her sister Susan, and becomes known as Queen Lucy the Valiant.
Jadis, the White Witch comes from the city of Charn, in a dying world. In Narnia she proclaims herself queen and through her magic rules with an iron fist. Her spell on Narnia makes it always winter but never Christmas. When provoked she uses her wand to turn opponents to stone. But she fears the fulfillment of a prophecy that "two sons of Adam" and "two daughters of Eve" will come to Narnia and help Aslan to overthrow her.
Aslan, a lion, is the true ruler of Narnia. He sacrifices himself to spare Edmund, but is resurrected in time to aid the citizens of Narnia and the Pevensie children in their battle against the White Witch and her minions.
Mr. Tumnus, a faun, is the first person that Lucy meets in Narnia. Tumnus befriends her, despite the White Witch's standing order to kidnap any human who enters Narnia. After getting to know Lucy, he changes his mind about handing her over to the witch. But he is betrayed accidentally by Edmund, who tells the White Witch, before he knew who she was, that Lucy had met a faun. Tumnus is eventually arrested and turned into stone. He is later restored by Aslan and becomes a close friend of the Pevensies.
Professor Digory Kirke takes the Pevensie children in when they are evacuated from London. He is the only one who believes that Lucy did indeed visit Narnia and tries to convince the others of her veracity. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe hints that he knows more of Narnia than he lets on; The Magician's Nephew reveals that he had been present at Aslan's creation of Narnia.
Mrs. MacReady is the housekeeper for Professor Kirke when the Pevensies come to stay.
Mr. Beaver is a friend of Tumnus. He assists the Pevensies in searching for Tumnus and dethroning the White Witch.
Mrs. Beaver is Mr. Beaver's wife.
The Dwarf is the White Witch's right hand man. Unnamed in the book, he is called Ginnarbrick in the film, where he has a more significant role.
Maugrim/Fenris Ulf, a wolf, is the chief of the White Witch's secret police. She sends him to hunt down the Pevensie children. He is killed by Peter at the Stone Table.
Father Christmas arrives when the Witch's magical hold over Narnia begins to break. He gives Peter, Susan and Lucy gifts, which ultimately will help them defeat the White Witch. (Edmund was with the White Witch at the time.) Mrs Beaver is given a better sewing machine and Mr. Beaver gets his dam completed.
Giant Rumblebuffin is turned to stone by the White Witch and brought back to life by Aslan. He breaks down the Witch's gate and crushes some of her army.
Plot summary
The Second World War has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who lives in a country house in the English countryside with his housekeeper, Mrs MacReady, as well as three servants called Ivy, Margaret, and Betty.
One rainy day shortly after the children arrive, they decide to explore the house. Lucy, the youngest of the children, is curious about the wardrobe in an empty room, but discovers that the door to it is a portal to a snow-covered forest with a gaslight post in the centre. There she meets a faun, who introduces himself as Tumnus and invites her home for tea. He tells her that the land is called Narnia and it is ruled by the ruthless White Witch, who ensures that it is always Winter but never Christmas.
Lucy returns through the wardrobe, having spent hours in Narnia, only to find that just a few seconds have passed in England. She is unable to convince the other children about her adventure, as the wardrobe is now just a wardrobe. Edmund, the next youngest of the four siblings, is particularly spiteful towards Lucy. Several weeks later, having forgotten about Narnia, Lucy and Edmund hide in the wardrobe while playing hide-and-seek. He fails to catch up with Lucy, and is approached by an extremely pale lady on a sledge pulled by a white reindeer, who introduces herself as the Queen of Narnia, and provides him with some magical Turkish delight. She promises to make him a Prince and eventually King of Narnia, and persuades him to bring the other children to her house.
Lucy and Edmund meet in the woods and return together through the wardrobe. During their conversation, Lucy mentions the White Witch and Edmund realizes that she is none other than the lady who has befriended him. When they arrive back in England, Edmund lies to Peter and Susan, claiming that he and Lucy were just playing and that the wardrobe is no more than an ordinary one, leaving Lucy very upset.
A few days later, all four children hide in the wardrobe to avoid Mrs MacReady (who was showing some visitors around the house) and find themselves in Narnia. Lucy guides them to Tumnus's cave, only to discover that Tumnus has been captured just as the White Witch had threatened and his cave ransacked by Maugrim, chief of the White Witch's secret police. The children are sheltered by a pair of talking beavers named Mr Beaver and Mrs Beaver, who recount an ancient prophecy that when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve fill the four thrones at Cair Paravel, the witch's power will fail. The beavers tell of the true king of Narnia — a great lion called Aslan — who has been absent for many years, but is now "On the move again."
Edmund, still in the thrall of the witch, runs off to the White Witch's castle and the others do not notice his departure until it is too late to recall him. Realising that they have been betrayed, the others set off to find Aslan. When Edmund reaches the White Witch, she treats him harshly and, taking him with her, sets off to catch the other children. However, her power is failing and a thaw strands her sleigh. The other children reach Aslan, and a penitent Edmund is rescued just as the witch is about to kill him. Calling for a truce, the witch demands that Edmund be returned to her, as an ancient law gives her possession of all traitors. Aslan, acknowledging the law, offers himself in Edmund's place and the witch accepts.
Aslan is sacrificed by the witch, but comes back to life due to the "Deeper magic", which holds that when someone who has committed no treachery willingly sacrifices himself for a traitor, death is reversed, and the martyr returns to life. During a final battle, the witch is defeated and killed by Aslan. The children become kings and queens, and spend 15 years in Narnia, growing to maturity, before returning to our world, where they find themselves children again, only a short time after they originally left. They could hear Mrs MacReady still talking to the visitors in the passageway, meaning that their years in Narnia had taken up no more than a few minutes of time back on this side of the door.
They explained their adventure to the professor, who believed them straight away and told them that they would definitely get back into Narnia one day, though never again through the wardrobe.
Allusions
Professor Kirke is based on W.T. Kirkpatrick, who tutored a 16-year-old Lewis. "Kirk," as he was sometimes called, taught the young Lewis much about thinking and communicating clearly, skills that would be invaluable to him later.[2]
Narnia is caught in endless winter that has lasted a century when the children first enter. Norse mythology also has a "great winter", known as the Fimbulwinter that is said to precede Ragnarok. The trapping of Edmund by the White Witch is reminiscent of the seduction and imprisonment of Kay by The Snow Queen in Hans Christian Andersen's novella of that name.
The dwarves and giants are from Norse mythology. Fauns, centaurs, minotaurs, dryads, etc. are all from Greek mythology. Father Christmas, of course, was part of popular English folk lore.
The main story is an allegory of Christ's crucifixion. Aslan sacrifices himself for Edmund, a traitor who deserved death, in the same way that Christ sacrificed Himself for sinners. The cross is replaced by the Stone Table (which was used in Celtic religion), both being pagan symbols, in contrast to Christ. Additionally, the splitting of the Stone Table reflects the veil of the temple splitting at the point of Christ's death. As with the Christian Passion, it is women (Susan and Lucy) who tend Aslan's body after he dies and are the first to see him after his resurrection. The significance of the death contains elements of both the ransom theory of atonement and the satisfaction theory: Aslan suffers Edmund's penalty (satisfaction), and buys him back from the White Witch, who was entitled to him by reason of his treachery (ransom). Christ is also associated with lions.
The freeing of Aslan's body from the stone table by field mice is reminiscent of Aesop's fable of "The Lion and the Mouse." In the fable, a lion catches a mouse, but the mouse persuades the lion to release him, promising that the favor would be rewarded. Later in the story, he gnaws through the lion's bonds after he has been captured by hunters.[3]
The plot device of a magic wardrobe which has no back and which provides to children an entrance to worlds of magic and fantasy appeared in 1931 in Erich Kästner's (otherwise very different) children's book The 35th of May, or Conrad's Ride to the South Seas.
Differences between the British and American editions
Prior to the publication of the first American edition of Lion, Lewis made the following changes.
In chapter one of the American edition, the animals that Edmund and Susan express interest in are snakes and foxes rather than the foxes and rabbits of the British edition.
In chapter six of the American edition, the name of the White Witch's chief of police is changed to "Fenris Ulf" from "Maugrim" in the British.
In chapter thirteen, "the roots of the World Ash Tree" takes the place of "the fire-stones of the Secret Hill".
When HarperCollins took over publication of the series in 1994, they used the British edition for all subsequent editions worldwide.[4]
Adaptations
The story has been adapted three times for television, once with costumes (a series in 1976), once as an animated cartoon (a TV-movie in 1979), and once using animatronic puppets (a series in 1988), and adapted a fourth time for a theatrical film (in 2005). The footage for the first one has been lost, while all the others are available on home video. Only the last two of these were followed by sequels with further Narnia stories.
Multiple audio editions have been released. The best-known consists of the book read aloud by Michael York. However, three audio CDs in the form of "radio plays" with various actors, sound effects, and music have also been released, one by the BBC, one by Radio Theatre, and one by Focus on the Family.
In 1984, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was staged at London's Westminster Theatre, produced by Vanessa Ford Productions. The play, adapted by Glyn Robbins, was directed by Richard Williams and designed by Marty Flood. In 1998 the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered their stage version, adapted by Adrian Mitchell, with music by Shaun Davey.
The 2005 film adaptation was distributed by Disney Pictures.
Further reading
Downing, David C. (2005). Into the Wardrobe: C. S. Lewis and the Narnia Chronicles. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-7890-6.
Ryken, Leland; and Mead, Marjorie Lamp (2005). A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe: Exploring C. S. Lewis's Classic Story. London: InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-8308-3289-0.
Sammons, Martha C. (1979). A Guide Through Narnia. Wheaton, Illinois: Harold Shaw Publishers. ISBN 0-87788-325-4.
References
^ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - ALL-TIME 100 Novels - TIME
^ CS Lewis Institute Resources.
^ Project Gutenberg.
^ Ford, Paul (2005). Companion to Narnia, Revised Edition. San Francisco: Harper. ISBN 0-06-079127-6.
External links

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe publication history at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
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