I was reading this article on Buzzfeed today and it took my breath away. How could she know EXACTLY how I felt about my many treks through Narnia? How could she know about my soulrending sadness 9/10s (approximately) of the way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
My one complaint about this article is that the author says she was disappointed when she found out that Aslan was the allegorical equivalent for Jesus. She describes it as being a “dull solution”. I find this troubling, not because I am a Christian and am offended by the thought of anyone not accepting a Christ-like figure in a children’s story (she, of course, is entitled to believe whatever she wishes), but by the word ‘solution’. What does that mean?
Does she think Lewis had Christian tie-ins for every other character but Aslan and so fell reluctantly to the answer of Jesus? That he was a last resort? Or maybe she was tired of Christ-like representatives in stories and thought Lewis was was being lazy by using the handy dandy old standby.
I feel Ms. McArdle was approaching the character without taking into account how dear and important C.S. Lewis’ faith was to him. He did not develop the character of Aslan, and then retroactively try to tie the story to that of Christianity. I don’t know (and I unfortunately will never get the chance to ask Lewis in person) but I don’t know that he ever intended the character or the story to go any other way. Saying that Jesus served as a ‘solution’ seems to trivialize everything, as if Voldemort were the ‘solution’ for the Harry Potter’s force of evil. Is that really all he was? He is integral to everything! There is no story without him being carefully positioned on the opposite side of the moral chasm from our hero.
But maybe I’m being too picky.
At any rate, the article was wonderful! Enjoy.