Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Silver Chair -- 1953

The Silver Chair

C.S. Lewis

There once was a school called the Experiment House where some unfortunate children, who had parents or guardians of modern thought, were sent to get their education. There were a few children there who actually came to learn but the majority were a group of bullies who made life decidedly worse. At this school, there was no such thing as corporal punishment. If you were a bully, you were said to be an interesting psychological case and more likely as not, best friends with the Head.

But the bullies loved best to pick on our friend from Voyage of the Dawn Treader (who came back from his adventure greatly changed) and his friend Jill Pole. In fact, the story opens with Jill crying behind the gym because she had just come away from being picked on. Eustace Scrubb stumbled upon her and after finding out the reason for her tears, talked her into trying to slip away from the school grounds until the bullies were out of range.

Eustace had never forgotten Narnia and dearly wanted to return. But he didn't know how, except to  call on His Name. But just as they were in the middle of doing so, they heard the noise of their adversaries and forgot completely about Aslan and Narnia. In their rush to get away, they tried the door in the wall that led out to the moor. Usually it was locked up tight but this time, “by Gum!” the handle turned and the door opened. To their surprise, however, it wasn't the moor that awaited them on the other side but sunlight and smooth, green turf and a beautiful forest with singing birds winging their way from branch to tree.

Isn't it rather funny how quickly adventure was sprung upon them? Perhaps it was not exactly in the same way as before but it was just as exciting. But through all the fear and excitement and joy and pain, Aslan is never far away. When their paths were darkest and there seemed no way out, His love and mercy shone the strongest.

“Please, what task, Sir?” asked Jill.
“The task for which I called you and him here out of your own world.”
This puzzled Jill very much. “It's mistaking me for someone else,” she thought. She didn't dare to tell the Lion this, though she felt things would get into a dreadful muddle unless she did.
“Speak your thought, Human Child,” said the Lion.
“I was wondering – I mean – could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to – to Somebody – it was a name  I wouldn't know – and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did and then we found the door open.”
“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.
“Then you are Somebody, Sir?” said Jill.
“I am. ...”

What I Liked:
1: I have always enjoyed the thought of Giants and Fauns and Centaurs and all manner of fairytale creatures. Did you know that Fauns are mentioned in the Bible?
2: The allegory. I found many truths tucked away just waiting to be discovered. :-)
3: The style. Very easy to read and understand.
4: The humor.

“After that, the Head's friends saw that the Head was no use as a Head, so they got her made an Inspector to interfere with other Heads. And when they found she wasn't much good even at that, they got her into Parliament where she lived happily ever after.”

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