Explore the meaning of the Narnian story

On the back of a statue of the famous author C. S. Lewis, located in east Belfast, on what is today called the “C. S. Lewis Square“, is a copy of a letter. The letter is an answer to a ten year old girl who wrote to C. S. Lewis, asking about the Narnian story. Here is a transcript from that letter written to Anne Wallen:

Magdalene College
March 1, 1961

Dear Anne,

What Aslan meant when he said he had died is, in one sense, plain enough. Read the earlier book in this series called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and you will find the full story of how he was killed by the White Witch and came to life again. When you have read that, I think you will probably see that there is a deeper meaning behind it.

The whole Narnian story is about Christ. That is to say, I asked myself “Supposing that there really was a world like Narnia and supposing it had (like our world) gone wrong, and supposing Christ wanted to go into that world and save it (as He did ours) what might have happened?” The stories are my answers.

Since Narnia is a world of Talking Beasts, I thought He would become a Talking Beast there, as He became a man here. I pictured Him becoming a lion there because (a) The lion is supposed to be the king of beasts; (b) Christ is called “The Lion of Judah” in the Bible; (c) I’d been having strange dreams about lions when I began writing the work. The whole series works out like this:

  • The Magician’s Nephew tells of the Creation and how evil entered Narnia.
  • The Lion, etc.- the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
  • Prince Caspian – restoration of the true religion after corruption.
  • The Horse and his Boy – the calling and conversion of a heathen.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – the spiritual life (especially in Reepicheep).
  • The Silver Chair – the continued war against the powers of darkness.
  • The Last Battle – the coming of the Antichrist (the Ape), the end of the world and the Last Judgement.

All clear?

C. S. Lewis

See more pictures I took during a visit in Belfast easter 2003 at http://cairparavel.net.