Welcome to Narnia

Judul: Welcome to Narnia
Penerbit: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Tebal: 183 halaman
Cetakan: 1st (2001)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the first title written by C.S. Lewis for The
Chronicles of Narnia, although it is recommended to be the second book in reading order. The other six titles are namely The Magician’s Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, Prince  Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and finally The Last Battle which was honored with the prestigious Carnegie Award follow. One title interconnects with the next title even though each title is as good as it is read own its own.

The settings for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe take place during World War II.  Four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy who are all siblings, are evacuated to the countryside to live in a very large house with an old eccentric Professor and his servants.

On one rainy day, the Pevensie children decide to explore the house. Lucy, the youngest of the four find an enormous wardrobe. Out of curiosity, Lucy decides to open the wardrobe and finally steps inside it. Lucy soon finds herself in another world, Narnia. In Narnia, Lucy discovers that the white witch has enchanted Narnia so that “it is always winter and never Christmas”.

Once Lucy exits Narnia, she eagerly tells her siblings about the magic wardrobe. To her dismay, none of her siblings believes her. Until one day, all the four the children hide  inside the wardrobe to avoid the housekeeper who brought a party of sightseers. However, they find themselves blinking in the daylight of a winter day in Narnia.

The children soon join Mr. Beaver and embark on an adventure to meet Aslan who is the  King as told by Mr. Beaver. While Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Mr. Beaver plan to meet Aslan at the stone table, Edmund goes missing to search for the white witch to notify her that he has brought along his other siblings although his primary motive is to satisfy his
greed on the enchanted Turkish delight.

The story continues and finally Aslan and the witch meet. The witch demands Edmund’s  life because she says that Edmund is a traitor.

The White Witch: “That human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property.”

Aslan does not refute this, therefore Aslan is willing to take Edmund’s place as an exchange. The story reaches its climax when the witch murders Aslan, who has sacrificed his life so that Edmund can live. Beyond the witch’s predictions, Aslan is resurrected as he has risen from the dead.

Aslan: “Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she
did not know. But if she could have looked a little further back… she would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”

For Christians, the allegory of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is clear. Aslan represents Christ. This is hard to be denied as the resemblance is too evident. Not only children but adult readers as well will be able to understand the significance of John 3:16. 

However, to regard the story as the gospel story in its purest sense will be misleading, as we can see from the following observations. Firstly, the term ‘magic’ simply cannot be applied to the power originating from God. Secondly, the substitution of Christ for sinners is of a different degree compared to the substitution of Aslan for Edmund. This difference is obvious in that the substitution of Christ is one for many, and also the Creator for the creatures, not creature for another creature.   

It is our task, therefore, to explain to nonbelievers the allegory behind this one of the best-loved books of all time, telling them the far greater sacrifice, the grandest redemption plan that God has worked in eternity.

Reference: www.amazon.com & www.sparknotes.com.