Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blog 1 - Comments on Young Readers and the Death/Resurrection of Aslan

The Chronicles of Narnia
by: C. S. Lewis


In the passage of Aslan’s death by the hand of the White Witch, a young reader, up to the age of eight years old, could be both terrified and deeply saddened by the death of Aslan. I think an eight year old would have this type of reaction because of the way that Lewis describes Aslan as a benevolent yet powerful and commanding character. Also, Aslan’s patriarchal demeanor would add to the connection a young reader might feel for the Lion. This reaction might be particularly stronger and more outward for a young girl rather than a boy because of the presence of Lucy and Susan at the killing. “The children did not see the actual moment of the killing. They couldn’t bear to look and had covered their eyes” (Lewis 181). The father-daughter relationship between Aslan and the girls would only add to a young female reader’s reaction if the reader were close with her own father or brothers.

And to the opposite effect, at the resurrection of Aslan, the relief and joy felt by Lucy and Susan is palpable. “‘Oh, you’re real, you’re real! Oh, Aslan!’ cried Lucy, and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses”(185). Upon learning that Aslan was indeed not a ghost, the girls feel the overwhelming relief that the young reader would inevitably share, knowing that the protector, guide, and patriarchal figure in Narnia, was alive and well.

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