Monday, October 7, 2013

The Chronicles of Narnia: the Silver Chair

The Silver Chair is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Narnia. It is the story of the adventures of Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole. Eustace first appearance in Narnia was in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is Jill's first journey to Narnia. Jill and Eustace are members of a "progressive school" where bullies rule. Jill and Eustace are brought into Narnia to rescue Prince Rilian who has been captured by a green serpent and it is not known if he is dead or alive.

At this time, the Silver Chair is one of my favorites of the Narnia book. It has one of the most interesting characters in the Chronicles of Narnia-- Puddleglum, the Marshwiggle. He seems to be pessimistic about everything. However, at crucial times in their journey to rescue the prince, it is Puddleglum who helps to save the mission.

There are many spiritual truths that can be gleamed from the book. For example, when Jill first arrives in Narnia, she is dying of thirst. By a stream of water is Aslan the Lion. Jill does not know Aslan. She asks the Lion to move so she can drink. He answers no. She says she would have to find another stream. He tells her there is no other stream. This seems to refer to the water that Jesus gives and we will thirst no more. Another example is the Lady of the Green Kirtle. She deceives the Prince and even casts a magic spell on the Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum where they began to think that the world they come from does not exist. This whole story seem to allude to Plato's allegory of the cave. They have to go underground to rescue the prince. When they were overland they saw things clearly. When they went underground, their vision became cloudy.

The Silver Chair can be read as a good story. It can also be read for its deeper meanings. Another interesting symbol is that Jill must memorize four signs that will guide them on their mission. Some in our book group thought this pointed to Deuteronomy and the law. We are to memorize the law and it is to guide our paths.

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