February 5, 2006

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Lesson One

Assigned Reading: Chapters 1-4
Topics Covered: Introduction to the course, Reading critically, C.S. Lewis and the main characters of the story. Introduction to different literary concepts: such as allegory, extended metaphor and parable.
In this course – we will study 2 main areas,
1. Introducing and becoming comfortable with literary terminology and concepts
2. Seeing how the story and land of Narnia illustrate those concepts
A. Some things to keep in mind (10 minutes)
1. Reading Critically
a. What is the difference between reading just to enjoy and reading to learn?
b. What are some strategies for reading critically
i. Note taking, highlighting, looking for ideas
2. Literary Concepts
a. Can be real tools and give deeper meaning
b. Can be contrived or seem natural
c. Can be intentional by author or implied by us.
3. These skills are transferable so learn them and apply them
a. Can be used when watching movies, reading or listening to conversations
b. Most often discovered not the first time through (reread, rewatch and you see more)
c. Can help you make connections and talk intelligently about the book and the world around you.
4. What are some things you discovered in your reading of the book this time around? How many have read it before? How many have seen the movie?

Character Introduction and Particulars from Chapters:
Peter, the eldest, seems wise and lively.
Susan is sweet-tempered and generally pleasant.
Edmund, who is described as being "bad-tempered," soon proves himself to be just that.
Lucy, the youngest, is curious and spirited.
White Witch

Tumnus struggle - realization, repentance
Edmund with the White Witch – Turkish Delight

Faun – Mythical – described in chapter one
Lucy – Daughter of Eve also mythical to them and biblical hint

Chapter 1
Air raids in London – sets time period WWII
Character development of the children
Chapter 2
Mentioning of mythical creatures on pg. 17

B. Background of CS Lewis (5 minutes)
a. .Born is 1898 in Ireland
a. Went to many different schools in England
b. Loved dressed animals like Beatrix Potter and nature all around
c. Loved to read and to illustrate books as a child
d. For most of his life was an anti-Christian aetheist
e. His friendship with JRR Tolkein, a fellow professor at Oxford and his brother were influential in Lewis’ coming to the Christian faith.
f. Began writing after becoming a Christian and became one of the most celebrated Christian authors before he died in 1963
g. The inspiration for Narnia was a painting of a faun with an umbrella and scarf carrying a package hanging in his office.
How does knowing this background help you understand more about the books? How might you read more critically after knowing this?

2. Literary Terms (20 minutes)
a. Metaphor - a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally mean in order to suggest a similarity. Often two objects are compared that are not alike. (kids give examples – (life is a stage – Shaksphere)
b. Extended Metaphor - is a long-drawn out comparison. It takes the basic comparison that makes a metaphor, and then it expands it adding even more comparisons.

Restore us, O God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.
You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it,
and it took root and filled the land.
The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
It sent out its boughs to the Sea,
its shoots as far as the River.
Why have you broken down its walls
so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
Boars from the forest ravage it
and the creatures of the field feed on it.
Return to us, O God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
the root your right hand has planted,
the son you have raised up for yourself.
Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
-- Psalm 80:7-16

c. Allegory - a narrative story with two meanings. The main purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, that have both literal and figurative meanings. (Pilgrims Progress ex – literal – journey from City of Destruction to Celestial City despite many perils. Allegorical – progress of any Christian from Baptism through trials to heaven) Main characters name is also Christian.

d. Parable – a brief and often simple narrative (ex from bible)

Not an allegory but has many allegorical similaries.
1. CS Lewis – said Narnia was a supposition not an allegory.
2. Lewis supposed what it would be like if Christ were to come to another, entirely fictional world.

3. Also not every object, character and event in the book is an allegory for another one in the Christian gospel.

Class discussion: Do you believe The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe an Allegory for the Christian gospel? Why or why not?

Go over the syllabus (5-10 minutes)

No comments:

Post a Comment