Do you like the Chronicles of Narnia?? And if so, who's your favourite character??
Asked by Anonymous
To be honest, I’m really not a huge Narnia fan, sorry :/
I liked Narnia up until the very end of the last book, where Lewis tells us straight up that Aslan literally is Jesus and the whole series retroactively changed from “fantasy adventure with religious undertones” to “tool for converting me to Christianity”. (Never mind that I identified as a Christian at the time, I still found it insultingly hamfisted.)
And besides that, compared to Middle-earth, Narnia as a fantasy world is pretty half-assed. The entire world exists only as a vehicle for Lewis’s message, and all the people and places in it are stock fairy tale stereotypes. There is no significant language, culture, or history to Narnia - it’s just a hodgepodge of the Brothers Grimm and Greek myth. Tolkien spoiled me and Lewis just couldn’t compare.
Yeah, this was basically Tolkien’s exact problems with allegory. Especially how he expressed it in this quote: “I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned– with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.”