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TC_Stele
12-11-2005, 10:53 AM
I went to see the Narnia movie last night. I liked it a lot in comparison to the book. Worth a see I think, if you've read the book.

The beginning of the movie starts off with a Battle of Britain bombing raid of He-111s flying through flak. While it's only a few minutes I thought it was a neat eye candy from the movie.

TC_Stele
12-11-2005, 10:53 AM
I went to see the Narnia movie last night. I liked it a lot in comparison to the book. Worth a see I think, if you've read the book.

The beginning of the movie starts off with a Battle of Britain bombing raid of He-111s flying through flak. While it's only a few minutes I thought it was a neat eye candy from the movie.

PBNA-Boosher
12-11-2005, 11:07 AM
You're right, the beginning was excellent! The 111's were very well modeled, so was the interior, the panic, everything was great! The movie itself was fun too.

Capt.LoneRanger
12-11-2005, 11:14 AM
Great indeed, but it's only a little start looking at the eyecandy later in the movie.

The story is very much like the books, bombastic as LordOfTheRings, but even more clear that the background of the story is the Holy Bible.

Both movies clearly show, why Tolkien and Lewis were so close friends. Monumental, fantastic, touching, just great. But you have to watch it in the cinema. The pictures just won't be the same on TV.

Bearcat99
12-11-2005, 11:45 AM
Ill be going tomorrow. Got tickets at my church.

SeaFireLIV
12-11-2005, 11:57 AM
Yes, I really liked the book as a kid, but doubt i`ll go to see it as my daughter`s already going with the school. Besides, children kicking the back of my chair nearly got me jailed the last time... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Monson74
12-11-2005, 12:19 PM
I'm curious how Aslan is modelled - I read the whole series when I was a kid & imagined him big & powerful. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

danjama
12-11-2005, 01:31 PM
I really enjoyed the book when we read it in primary school http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Airmail109
12-11-2005, 01:44 PM
Thank god (ahem cough) that Phillip Pullmun wrote "His Dark Materials" to counter the theology of Narnia......

"€˜If the Disney Corporation wants to market this film as a great Christian story, they€ll just have to tell lies about it,€ Pullman told The Observer.
Pullman believes that Lewis€s books portray a version of Christianity that relies on martial combat, outdated fears of sexuality and women, and also portrays a religion that looks a lot like Islam in unashamedly racist terms.
€˜It€s not the presence of Christian doctrine I object to so much as the absence of Christian virtue. The highest virtue, we have on the authority of the New Testament itself, is love, and yet you find not a trace of that in the books,€ he said."

Goodwood_Alpha
12-11-2005, 03:13 PM
There's actually seven books in the series, and one wonders whether the producers are going to have a go at doing all of them.

Though I only read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I really did like it; it was a great children's story. However, reading Pullman's blurb that Airmail has posted...blimey, the man's got a point...

Capt.LoneRanger
12-11-2005, 03:40 PM
They did not, Aimail101, but actually what this man describes is what we believe in: The holy bible.

This quote is very fascinating, though.
Lewis didn't want to rewrite the bible, but to find a story that has parallels to the bible to make children familiar with the aspects of christianity. Of course, you'll see many parallels to fit that purpose.
The funny thing is, that especially the points Pullman critizises as outdated are in fact perfect parallels taken from the bible, while on the other hand, he made some stupid mistakes: He mistook the battle as the method of fighting against evil and the witch as the ultimate female evil.
That's plain wrong. As the movie shows, too, faith, sacrifice, forgiveness and the conscious decision against evil are the key elements of the story. Just like it is in most modern religions, especially islam and christianity.

IMHO Pullman didn't understand the book - or he didn't want to, as these statements surely sold many books for him, considering the renown of the Narnia-Chronicles. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Old_Canuck
12-11-2005, 09:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monson74:
I'm curious how Aslan is modelled - I read the whole series when I was a kid & imagined him big & powerful. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just got back from the movie. My niece and nephew liked Aslan the most. He was big and powerful but gentle and wise. It's no secret the story was intended by Lewis as a biblical allegory. Seems most people are lining up for Harry Potter though as we didn't exactly have a packed house for Narnia. If you go, don't be in a hurry to leave at the end. Half the people on their way out had to stop in the aisles so they woulnd't miss the surprise ending after they thought it was already over. :-)

waffen-79
12-11-2005, 11:24 PM
just came back from the theater http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

If you guys like epic battles with swords and stuff, you MUST see it.

the HE-111's were awesome.

a lot of sweet FX. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Capt.LoneRanger
12-12-2005, 04:25 AM
Fascinating how the battle seems to be the most impressive part of the movie. Though it's great eye candy it's just a symbol for what is going on. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

RocketDog
12-12-2005, 07:54 AM
Pullman's an idiot. He made some rather foolish comments about Lewis's books and has got stuck with them. Perhaps as a writer of children's fantasies he feels a bit overshadowed.

Anyone here read Lewis's trilogy for adults, "Out of the Silent Planet", "Voyage to Venus" and "That Hideous Strength"? Great fun and quite profound in places.

Cheers,

RocketDog.

Capt._Tenneal
12-12-2005, 08:29 AM
I saw Narnia this weekend too and I agree, the opening sequence with the He-111's was sweet ! It was funny if the latecomers did a double-take and thought they entered a war movie instead of Narnia. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The movie was not overtly preachy, IMO. Aside from the part where Aslan sacrificed hmself and his "resurrection", nothing could have been referring to Christianity at all. And even that was put in the context of the prophecy, so a kid watching this for the first time would see this as just a good fantasy story.

The final battle sequence was great too. In contrast to the He-111's in the beginning, the griffons were a good Narnia counterpart to an aerial attack.

huggy87
12-12-2005, 08:53 AM
I loved the series as a kid and probably read each book at least three times. I thought the movie was well done also. That being said, I think adults unfamiliar with the book won't "get it". Kind of like when I watched one of the harry potter movies as an adult (having never had the benefit of reading the series with the wonderment of a child). I could see how kids could appreciate the stories, but I was bored.

huggy87
12-12-2005, 08:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Old_Canuck:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Monson74:
I'm curious how Aslan is modelled - I read the whole series when I was a kid & imagined him big & powerful. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just got back from the movie. My niece and nephew liked Aslan the most. He was big and powerful but gentle and wise. It's no secret the story was intended by Lewis as a biblical allegory. Seems most people are lining up for Harry Potter though as we didn't exactly have a packed house for Narnia. If you go, don't be in a hurry to leave at the end. Half the people on their way out had to stop in the aisles so they woulnd't miss the surprise ending after they thought it was already over. :-) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

D@mnit! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif I missed that.

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 09:37 AM
Ok you think Pullmans an idiot....bite me

"Since 1998, two of Britain's most popular and renowned works of children's fantasy fiction have become, as one topical website states, a space in which 'worldviews collide'.[1] CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials have been compared, contrasted and quarrelled over in the most fervent -- and acrimonious -- terms. It was Pullman himself who threw down the gauntlet: his 1998 Guardian article 'The Dark Side of Narnia' described the Chronicles as 'racist', 'misogynistic', 'sneering', 'reactionary', 'vile and poisonous'. It goes on to accuse Lewis's 'powerful seductive narrative voice' of peddling 'propaganda in the service of a life-hating ideology'.[2]


2 CS Lewis is of course no longer around to defend his creation, or to make a counter-attack on Pullman or his work. Nevertheless, His Dark Materials has not been short of harsh criticism. Although even the most devoted haters of His Dark Materials tend to concede the 'beauty, detail and believability of the fantasy worlds Pullman creates',[3] they have gone on to condemn His Dark Materials as 'reductive and contemptuous'; as dependant upon narrative 'absurdities';[4] as 'anti-religious tub-thumping'; or, in one memorable Amazon review, 'as beautiful as a cobra, and about as welcome in the house'.[5]


3 It is significant that very little of this criticism attacks the story-telling skills of either Lewis or Pullman. Everyone seems to agree these two can write. The problem in both cases is the ideology, and how that ideology is communicated. Both The Chronicles of Narnia and His Dark Materials are set in a system of magical worlds, and both tell the adventures of a group of bold English schoolchildren who stumble onto these worlds. This is of course a very common trope in children's fantasy, from Carroll's Alice to Rowling's Harry Potter; however, while Rowling contents herself with generalised conflicts between good and evil, Lewis's and Pullman's agendas are rather more high-concept. The children of both The Chronicles of Narnia and His Dark Materials end up re-enacting the Biblical events of the rebellion of Satan against God, the temptation in the Garden of Eden, and the Fall of Man. Rowling's young wizards never mention any kind of religion; but Lewis's and Pullman's children meet, face-to-face, the deity of their own respective system of worlds. Lewis's children go through the wardrobe and meet the lion, Aslan; Pullman's children find themselves on a battlefield in Heaven, and encounter the being named only as The Authority.


4 Aslan and Authority: as the A-names suggest, these two are the Alpha males of their respective worlds. They both hold absolute power. Apart from that, however, Aslan and Authority are as different as any two deities could possibly be.


5 In this paper, then, I will outline one of the ways in which The Chronicles of Narnia and His Dark Materials oppose each other: their contrasting depictions of God. There are many other ways in which Pullman's trilogy could be considered an 'anti-Narnia'; Pullman's representations of childhood and adulthood, sin and redemption, sexuality and the Fall, are all rigidly antithetical to Lewis's. This paper, however, will restrict itself to representations of a Supreme Deity, with a brief outline of the 'Great Adversary' -- the Satan figure -- of each god, and of the Afterlife each godhead has created for his subjects. I will show how Lewis creates his Aslan to be utterly sympathetic, good and true -- and how Pullman creates his Authority to be utterly unsympathetic, wicked and false. I will argue that each writer uses this black-and-white figure to express, and to favour, the writer's own stated religious ideology; I will draw on other writings by Lewis and Pullman to outline what that stated ideology is. In the case of Lewis, this is the Christianity laid out in Mere Christianity and Preface to Paradise Lost. In the case of Pullman, this is an anti-clerical humanism laid out in several interviews and articles.[6]


6 As we have seen, then, both Aslan and Authority wield absolute power over their subjects. Aslan is a Christ-figure and nature-god all in one, 'the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea' (Chronicles of Narnia, 146). From the start, Lewis stresses the absolute benevolence of his divine ruler. Narnia's child-characters instinctively recognise his goodness; they experience 'that strange feeling -- like the first signs of spring, like good news' (CoN 146), merely at the sound of his name. Aslan loves those he rules, and empathises with them in their suffering; Digory, whose mother is terminally ill, feels Aslan 'must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.' (CoN 83). Aslan is even prepared to die for his subjects -- he sacrifices himself to save the 'traitor' Edmund.


7 We see no such benevolence, however, in the God of His Dark Materials, Pullman's cruel and despotic 'Authority'. He imprisons every dead soul in the hellish Underworld; his Church is a 'permanent Inquisition' (The Amber Spyglass, 393) which commits all the atrocities of the auto-da-fé. The Authority's forces practise what in the universe of His Dark Materials is the ultimate cruelty: the process known as 'intercision', the severing of the psychic link between a human and his or her companion animal-spirit, known as the 'daemon'. The daemon represents the life-force, the part of oneself one leaves behind at death; there is 'no passage to the lands of the dead' for one who still has a daemon (AS, 296). The daemons also represents sexuality; they take their final shape at the first sexual experience, 'having felt a lover's hands upon them' (AS, 528). Thus intercision constitutes both castration and lobotomy. Religious law, in His Dark Materials, is the 'life-hating ideology' that Pullman perceives in The Chronicles of Narnia.


8 In both books, closely bound up with God's goodness, are issues of God's right to absolute rule. Throughout the Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis stresses the legitimacy of Aslan's godhood, capitalising him as 'the Lion'. Moreover, Aslan rules Narnia because he is the Creator of Narnia; the reader witnesses the Creation for him/herself:
The Lion opened his mouth... and the deepest, wildest voice they had ever heard was saying: "Narnia, Narnia, Narnia, awake. Love. Think. Speak. Be walking trees. Be talking beasts. Be divine waters." (Chronicles of Narnia, pg 70)
The land itself recognises him as King; the White Witch's false winter starts to dissolve as soon as Aslan sets foot on Narnian soil (CoN 145 onwards). Aslan is both omniscient and omnipresent; when Lucy tells him, 'it was kind of you to come,' he replies, 'I have been here all the time.' (CoN, 498). He is immortal; like Christ, he dies but is resurrected. (CoN, 182). Aslan has a 'hands-on' relationship with his subjects, appearing to them frequently and in person (eg CoN, 498).


9 In this we see one of the few areas in which The Chronicles of Narniaand His Dark Materials share common ideological ground: the somewhat Presbyterian view that a true god requires no Church to make intercession between himself and his subjects. Priests are shown as contemptible in both these works. In Narnia, there is only one 'priest' of Aslan: a talking ape called 'Shift' (CoN, 669 onwards), who turns out to be a fake. Pullman's priests are life-hating zealots, whose cold-bloodedness is indicated by the forms of their daemons: non-mammals such as frogs, lizards and beetles (AS, 69, 73 & 80). They form a sharp contrast with the warm-blooded mammalian daemons, which tend to be owned by sympathetic characters (like Will and Lyra) or by characters capable of redemption; the ruthless Mrs Coulter, for example, has a golden-furred monkey, whose warm colouring hints at the passionate self-sacrifice she will eventually make to save her daughter.


10 While Aslan inspires his beloved people against the false priest, however, Pullman's Authority contacts his subjects only through the medium of his cold-blooded priests and their Church. Once, like Aslan, Authority 'walked in the garden and spoke' with humanity (AS, 344); but he is now remote and redundant, and delegates his power to his tyrannical regent, Metatron. Authority is neither omniscient nor omnipresent -- by the time the child-heroes encounter him, he is 'demented and powerless' (AS, 431) and has 'no will of his own' (AS, 432). Neither is he immortal, as we shall see later. Most shockingly to those he rules, he is a usurper, not the true Creator:
"The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty -- those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves... The first angels condensed out of Dust, and the Authority was the first of all. He told those who came after him that he had created them, but it was a lie." (The Amber Spyglass, 33-34)


11 Lewis, on the other hand, models his 'usurper' figure not as Yahweh, but as Yahweh's antithesis: Lucifer. The villainous White Witch, the 'false Queen' of Narnia, is Aslan's Great Adversary: the rebellious Satan of Narnia. Like Authority, an angel pretending to be God, she too usurps power by pretending to be what she is not; that is, human:
'That's what I don't understand, Mr Beaver,' said Peter. 'I mean isn't the Witch herself human?' 'She'd like us to believe it,' said Mr Beaver, 'and it's on that that she bases her claim to be Queen. But she's no Daughter of Eve. She comes of... your father Adam's first wife, her they called Lilith. And she was one of the Jinn... No, no, there isn't a drop of real human blood in the Witch.' (Chronicles of Narnia,147)
Lilith of course was banished from Eden for refusing to 'lie under' Adam;[7] the Witch, therefore, represents not only the first mortal to rebel against divine authority, but also the first woman to rebel against masculine authority. In Narnia, this is not held to be an admirable thing; here a rebellious female is not just wicked but literally inhuman, a daughter of Lilith and therefore a Jinn. Like Milton's Garden of Eden, Narnia was created as a hierarchy -- Aslan places humans above Beasts, and males above females.[8] Aslan approves only 'Daughters of Eve' to be Queens of Narnia, and no 'Daughter of Eve' reigns here without a High King to outrank her. A Queen who tries to rule without a King is effectively rebelling against God.


12 The White Witch therefore, as both Lilith and Satan, has a double dose of what Lewis has described as the 'Great Sin': Pride, through which 'the devil became the devil... the complete anti-God state of mind' (Lewis, MC, 100). Lewis shows his abhorrence of such pride by making his 'rebel', the White Witch, not only doubly unsympathetic but doubly unnatural. In her female Pride she is inhuman, a 'Jinn'; in her mortal Pride she is undead, a vampire-like immortal whose skin is 'deadly white, white as salt' (CoN, 93). In Lewis's system, it is she who is cold-blooded -- she who contrasts with the warm-blooded lion Aslan, who is described throughout the book as 'golden' (CoN, eg 79, 175), like the monkey-daemon of Mrs Coulter. Lewis's White Witch is reminiscent of Andersen's Snow-Queen, associated always with the cold and the sterile. Those who displease her are not just imprisoned, but frozen: turned into statues (CoN, 154). She keeps Narnia itself frozen in time, in the condition most terrible to a child reader -- 'always winter and never Christmas' (CoN, 159) -- thereby forestalling the Winter Solstice and the coming of spring.


13 The White Witch is also, as Lewis believed Milton's Satan to be, ludicrous. When Satan says 'Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven',[9] Lewis responds: 'it fails to be roaring farce only because it spells agony' (Lewis, PPL,103). Similarly, the White Witch was once Empress of another world, until she wiped out her own people rather than let anyone else rule them, thereby giving herself nothing and no-one to rule (CoN, 41). To Lewis revolt against the divine will is not only wicked, it is foolish to the point of being risible.


14 The Satan-figure in His Dark Materials is rather more complex. Pullman has clearly stated his position on the Satanic rebellion -- he has paraphrased Blake on Milton by claiming, 'I am of the Devil's party, and I know it.'[10] So we might expect Pullman's Satan-figure -- the aristocratic human, Lord Asriel -- to be entirely sympathetic, and completely antithetical to Lewis's White Witch. We are certainly forced to perceive Asriel's rebellion as justified, since the reign of Authority is so entirely oppressive and cruel.


15 Lord Asriel himself, however, is far from kindly. His name implies a capacity for ruthlessness: in the Koran, Azrael is the angel of death, who severs the soul from the body. Lord Asriel's daemon, his companion spirit-animal, is a leopard; Asriel himself is often figured as a pitiless feline, 'proud and beautiful and deadly' (Northern Lights, 377). He mirrors his hated opponents in one very striking way: he too is a child-killer, who sacrifices his daughter's friend Rodger to gain power for an experiment. Even more tellingly, Asriel kills the child in the same way the Authority's Church kills children -- by intercision -- cutting the psychic link between the boy and his daemon. Like his namesake, Lord Asriel severs the link between the soul and the body, with no sign of regret or remorse; we are told that Roger was 'crying and pleading, begging, sobbing, and Lord Asriel took no notice except to knock him to the ground'. (NL, 391)


18 Lord Asriel's potential for redemption is prefigured, as Mrs Coulter's is, by his possession of a mammalian 'warm-blooded' daemon; Asriel is eventually redeemed by joining Mrs Coulter in a selfless death. Until then, however, the reader is likely to wonder just whose side he's on. His fellow rebels believe he wants what they want: a free and equitable 'republic of heaven'. Asriel himself, himself, keeps quiet on the type of government he intends to establish. He hardly strikes the reader as a natural democrat -- his manservant of forty years says 'his lordship... wouldn't confide in me any more than in his shaving-mug' (The Subtle Knife, 46) -- and his high-handed attitude makes us wonder exactly how willing he would be to surrender his aristocratic status.


17 Asriel is one of the few morally ambiguous characters in His Dark Materials. He is both a freedom-fighter and an angel of death. He reminds us perhaps that however justified a revolution may be, it is rarely accomplished without the loss of innocent life.


18 While the contrast between the two Great Adversaries is not entirely clear-cut, the respective Worlds of the Dead created by Aslan and by Authority are polar opposites. Once again in the Chronicles of Narnia, we see Aslan as emphatically Christlike, separating the dead into the ****ed and the saved. He calls all the creatures of Narnia before him at the day of judgement:
They all looked straight in[Aslan's] face... And when some looked, the expression of their faces changed terribly -- it was fear and hatred... And all the creatures who looked at Aslan in that way swerved to their right, his left, and disappeared into his huge black shadow... The children never saw them again. I don't know what became of them. But the others looked in the face of Aslan and loved him, though some of them were very frightened at the same time. And all these came in at the Door, in on Aslan's right. (Chronicles of Narnia, 751. Italics mine)
This of course is a direct allusion to the gospel of Matthew (25), which predicts that Christ will 'separate [the dead souls] one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left' (verses 32-3). Just as the sheep on Christ's right are 'blessed', and called to '[our] Father's kingdom', so those on Aslan's right follow him 'Further up and further in' (CoN 755 onwards) to Aslan's country. The fate of those who go into the shadow on Aslan's left is not specified; it almost certainly represents ****ation, however, since the 'cursed' goats on Christ's left are dispatched to the 'everlasting fire'.


19 The criterion for judgement here, however, is rather different. In the Biblical case one is saved or ****ed by how one treats one's fellow man: Christ says, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (verse 40)'. In Narnia, though, what matters is whether or not one loves Aslan. One of the English children, Susan, has lost her faith and love for Aslan, and now regards Narnia as simply a 'funny game'; she is conspicuous by her absence at Aslan's day of judgement, and, like those who went into Aslan's 'deep dark shadow', she is never seen again. There is little space in Lewis's tale to disagree with the doctrine of 'Aslan is Lord'.


20 Whatever we may think of Aslan or his judgement, however, he does at least deliver what he promises. He tells the children, 'When you meet me here [in Narnia] again, you will have come to stay' (CoN, 662); this is exactly what takes place in the closing chapter of the Chronicles. The Authority too promises to 'separate out the sinners and the righteous' (AS, 264), and to grant the faithful 'eternity in the company of saints and angels praising the Almighty, in a state of bliss' (AS, 335). This, however, turns out to be a lie. The Afterlife is the same for everyone, and is by no means blissful:
[Will and Lyra] found themselves on a great plain that extended far ahead into the mist. The light by which they saw was a dull self-luminescence that seemed to exist everywhere equally, so that there were no true shadows and no true light, and everything was the same dingy colour. Standing on the floor of this huge space were adults and children... 'Ghosts,' [Lyra] whispered. 'This is where they all are, everyone that's ever died...' ... They had as much substance as fog, poor things... They crammed forward, light and lifeless, to warm themselves at the flowing blood and strong-beating hearts of the two travellers. (The Amber Spyglass, 310 --311) Authority's Hades is reminiscent of the eternal tedium of the Classical underworld, where the soul endures forever the 'flavourless existence of a shadow or phantom',[11] and to Dante's Limbo, where the unbaptised exist without pain but also without joy, denied the salvation of Christian faith.[12] Christian faith, however, is no salvation here; Lyra and Will meet the ghost of a young woman 'who had died as a martyr centuries before', who tells them: 'When we were alive, they told us that when we died we'd go to heaven. And they said that heaven was a place of joy and glory... [but] the land of the dead isn't a place of reward or a place of punishment. It's a place of nothing. The good come here as well as the wicked, and all of us languish in this gloom for ever, with no hope of freedom, or joy, or sleep or rest or peace.' (The Amber Spyglass, 331)


21 There is little doubt that the Authority himself -- rather than his Church -- has consigned humanity to this eternal Limbo. The dead are tormented by Harpies, who tell the children: 'Thousands of years ago, when the first ghosts came down here, the Authority gave us the power to see the worst in every one' (AS, 331. Italics mine). This appears to be an act of gratuitous cruelty on the part of the Authority, since the dead are neither threat nor enemy to him; even the White Witch does not imprison those who support her. The anti-Narnian drive of Pullman's work seems to have made his God a bogeyman, worse even than Lewis's Satanic Witch; his actions are not only vicious but also deeply illogical.


22 There is no divine Harrowing of Hell, then, even for the Authority's most devoted followers. Help comes at last not from Christ, but from Lyra and Will, who perform their own mass Harrowing by simply cutting a hole in the ceiling and releasing all the souls, good and evil alike. In Pullman's work, salvation derives not from God, but from the impulsive kindness of children: '[Lyra said], "Will, I want us to take all these poor dead ghost-kids outside -- the grown-ups as well -- we could set 'em free!" He turned and gave her a true smile, so warm and happy...' (AS, 319). The dead escape into the world above, gazing 'with delight and wonder as the first stars they had seen for centuries shone through into their poor starved eyes' (AS, 382), just as Dante escaped Hell and 'came out once more to see the stars'.[13]


23 Death, therefore, is treated very differently in these two works. Perhaps even more telling, however, is the death of the Deity himself. Both Aslan and Authority die in the course of their respective fictions. For Aslan, as for all the righteous in Narnia, death appears to have very little sting; when faced with a very healthy Prince Caspian, Aslan assures his companions: 'He has died. Most people have, you know. Even I have.' (CoN, 662) Still, Aslan submits himself to pain and humiliation, and a Samson-like shaving of his hair, before his death by sacrifice:
When once Aslan had been tied (and tied so he was nearly a mass of cords) on the flat stone, a hush fell over the crowd. Then [the Witch] began to whet her knife... Then, just before she gave the blow, she stooped down and said in a quivering voice: '...Understand that you have given me Narnia for ever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his [Edmund's]. In that knowledge, despair and die'. The children did not see the actual moment of the killing. They couldn't bear to look and had covered their eyes... [They] cried till they could cry no more. (Chronicles of Narnia,180--182)
Later that same day, however, Susan and Lucy find the sacrificial table cracked in two and Aslan's body disappeared:
'Who's done it?' cried Susan. 'What does it mean? Is it more magic?' 'Yes!' said a great voice behind their backs. 'It is more magic.' They looked round. There, shining in the sunrise, larger than they had seen him before, shaking his mane (for it had apparently grown again) stood Aslan himself. '...Oh, Aslan!' cried Lucy, and both girls flung themselves upon him and covered him with kisses. (Chronicles of Narnia, 184--185)


24 Thus Aslan dies, Christ-like, in a state of humility; this is the 'deeper magic' that overcomes the Witch's pride. The death of Authority is a very different matter. Lyra and Will find him on a battlefield, and have no idea who he is. This scene is the reader's only glimpse of the Authority; and it shows a Wizard-of-Oz figure, far from 'great and terrible', but a pitiful fake. The Authority, unlike Aslan in his humility, has clung to his worldy power and his life; he is now painfully old and enfeebled, giving 'the impression of terrifying decrepitude, of a face sunken in wrinkles, of trembling hands and a mumbling mouth' (AS, 416). Now, mindless and senile, he is not only capable of death, but welcoming of it:
Between them[Will and Lyra] helped the ancient of days out of his crystal cell; it wasn't hard, for he was as light as paper, and he would have followed them anywhere, having no will of his own, and responding to simple kindness like a flower to the sun. But in the open air there was nothing to stop the wind from damaging him, and to their dismay his form began to loosen and dissolve. Only a few moments later he had vanished completely, and their last impression was of those eyes, blinking in wonder, and a sigh of the most profound and exhausted relief. Then he was gone: a mystery dissolving in mystery. It had all taken less than a minute, and Will turned back at once to [his comrade] the fallen chevalier. (The Amber Spyglass, 432)
There was no self-sacrifice by the Authority, and now he has no glorious resurrection. The watching children pity him, but they certainly don't 'cry till they could cry no more'; nor does anyone else.


25 Pullman could scarcely have made his contrast stronger. Aslan is a vibrant god who shrugs off death, to the joy of his loving young subjects. Authority is senile and redundant, a pathetic figure unrecognised by the young people around him, and whose death is long overdue. When it comes it is final, and apparently unlamented.


26 It seems, therefore, that Lewis and Pullman simply cannot be reconciled. They sometimes agree on what a god should be -- close to his subjects, a true Creator -- but on depicting a god as he is, they are poles apart. Indeed, perhaps Pullman does not wish to be reconciled, but has created (consciously or otherwise) a deliberate anti-Narnia, designed to oppose Lewis's creation on almost every ideological point.


27 Yet ironically, this will to oppose has created similarity. Neither Lewis nor Pullman leave any room for ambiguity in their presentation of the Godhead; only a wicked fool could hate Lewis's Aslan, and only a wicked fool could love Pullman's Authority. This lack of grey shading in the black-and-white is the source of deep dissatisfaction to many readers -- as the Web forum RevolutionSF suggests, 'the preach factor' is equally high in both.


28 Perhaps the only way to enjoy both these works, then, is to accept that both Lewis and Pullman have taken full advantage of one of the Fantasy genre's conventions: 'my world, my rules'. When in Narnia we must think like a 'Mere Christian'; when in the worlds of His Dark Materials we must embrace Pullman's brand of spiritual humanism. Both philosophies -- and both works -- reflect a yearning for the advent of a Golden Age, in which the wordly and the divine become perfectly aligned: Lewis's Kingdom of God, Pullman's Republic of Heaven. However, the political gulf between them -- the Kingdom versus the Republic -- is too wide for many readers to cross; and perhaps Pullman, the great anti-Narnian, the mischievous member of 'Devil's party', has purposely made them irreconcilable. It seems inevitable, therefore, that the debate over these two fantasy sequences will remain a space 'where two worldviews collide'."

If you can be bothered to read this you will realise that Pullman is not an idiot, and you are in fact....an idiot. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It seems to me that Pullman understood Narnia perfectly well, probably better than most of you brain dead monkeys will.

Capt._Tenneal
12-12-2005, 09:43 AM
Some producer has probably optioned Pullman's books to be filmed anyways, so we'll see them onscreen pretty soon.

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 09:51 AM
If you have ever read any of pullmans interviews youd realise he did not intend the "His Dark Materials" trilogy to be published as childerens books, in fact he has stated that he did npt want childeren under 12 years old to read it, however the publishers decided against this.

Goodwood_Alpha
12-12-2005, 09:57 AM
I had to leave it at #11 mate, but I will finish it. That is a really interesting paper -- what grade have you gotten for it?

huggy87
12-12-2005, 10:12 AM
I am not familiar with pullman or his work. Can you give us a little background.

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 10:13 AM
Me lol? That was one I used in a different essay....its quoted, i didnt source it though as a friend gave it to me on a word file. I used it to gain ideas for a different essay altogether which I am working on now! Im sorry to say I cant claim responsibility for that essay! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Huggy, Pullmans "His Dark Materials" to put it shortly are based on humanist ideology that opposes the views of Narnia.

Google "His Dark Materials" or "Pullman"!

Capt.LoneRanger
12-12-2005, 10:40 AM
The funny thing is, the further I read, the more confused the arguments seem to be.

Okay, let's say Narnia is sexistical, against women, old-fashioned, relying on martial combat and cruelty, and all the stuff said by Pullmann.

I'm sorry, maybe it's only me, but aren't these points exactly what the Bible (and Islam, btw) are? He says he doesn't like Narnia to be called christianic, because of these points, but at the same time, exactly these adjectives are used to critizise the church and the pope!? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Okay, it maybe only me, but if 2 completely different things are criticized by the very same descriptions, how can he say they aren't even related!? Maybe somebody here can enlighten me???

Capt.LoneRanger
12-12-2005, 10:46 AM
ROFLOL - good idea to google these words.

First hit I read states Pullmann was part of a "dark conspiracy" and said "to be with the devil willingly". Interesting to read, he stated that himself in interviews...

O...kay... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 10:46 AM
Yes It does appear to be the same Capt.Lone, but many Christians dont believe the exact words of the Bible, there are more free thinkers/modernisers.....which there needs to be more for the Churches sake or the Church in Europe will be doomed.

Errr yes links please Capt.Lone, do you not realise that these might be trying to damadge Pullmans reputation! Are you a fool? If you read and understood his theology, youd realise he is not a satanist..(Read my second post on the first page...ALL OF IT!)..oh I forgot your IQ isnt high enough!

Capt.LoneRanger
12-12-2005, 10:50 AM
I found the statement on Wikipedia - since I read it in German, it wouldn't help you much to post a link.

And again, Lewis wrote to open the childrens heart for the Bible, not for the personal interpretation of any individual, who doesn't believe in the Bible, but in God (Yes, there is a difference, I agree)

Besides that, I don't know why you personally attack me. If you think my statements are due to lack of intelligence, then your reaction brings you down to my level. Welcome to the club.

I also didn't say it's true or I believe it - that is also your interpretation. I suggest you don't take it personally and look it up for yourself. It was his statement, not mine.


I love you, too. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 10:53 AM
First rule of essay writing, check your sources for credibility! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Capt.LoneRanger
12-12-2005, 11:15 AM
http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5064 (http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&amp;UID=5064)

Pullman seems to enjoy the controversy. He told the Guardian, €œBlake once wrote of Milton that he was a €˜true poet, and of the Devil€s party, without knowing it€. I am of the Devil€s party, and I know it.€
...
Such religious opposition has been galvanized by Pullman€s outspoken opposition to organized religion and fundamentalism in any form. Though he is €œall for the death of God€ (quoted The Guardian, January 2002), Pullman has since clarified this statement noting €œIt isn€t belief in God that causes the problem€ (The Guardian , 6th November 2004) rather a willingness to put doctrine before the virtues it should safeguard.



Good points, but still no more or less correct than Lewis. It's a question of personal interpretation what church and believe should be like, but also a question of the point of view. Lewis wrote his book for children, Pullman for adolescent. Dunno if a comparrisson works for this at all. How can anybody decide his way of believe without knowing the basics? Regardless of what the church should be like, you cannot make up your mind without knowing the basics. And then, this free believe is based upon the reinterpretation of the stories of the Bible. Narnia is nothing else, just a more child-like interpretation. That doesn't make Narnia less Christian nor Pullman a Martin Luther.

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 11:47 AM
Thanks! Interesting! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif However I dont believe one statement is enough to ridicule his entire works! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif Oh you should read the comparison if you havnt!

TC_Stele
12-12-2005, 11:56 AM
So Pullman's success is based on practically a clone of one of the classics: Narnia with twists, criticism, and re-interpretation. Sounds like a lot of effort to try and tear down a book meant for kids during a Christian time. I don't think Lewis would have expected any major type of confortation for his book, considering the time he was in. The essay is right, too bad Lewis can't defend himself.

Capt.LoneRanger
12-12-2005, 12:12 PM
Ehm? Excuse me, but when/where did I ridicule Pullman?

Okay, interprete what you want from my posts - seems you're doing it anyway, instead of thinking what Pullman and Lewis wrote and why. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Ankanor
12-12-2005, 12:20 PM
I saw it on thursday and you're right, me and my friends thought we were in the wrong hall when the Heinkels appeared. I must say I never have read the books and the only thing I knew was LEwis and Tolkien were close friends and the costume and arms team were the guys who made the costumes, armor and weapons for the Lord of the rings trilogy. Which, for a die-hard fan of Tolkien like me was more than enough http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif It really is a more children-oriented book. But I liked it. Very much. I did not for one moment consider this as a Christian Propaganda. Maybe because I wasn't raised to believe in God - communist regime regards religion as "opium for the masses". Karl Marx's words http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif I loved the story, loved the battles(although I would have rather seen some scenes with the boys learning something about swordfighting, riding, etc. before being able to fight on horseback, quite successfully too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

The Centaur knight charge was awesome!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

TC_Stele
12-12-2005, 12:44 PM
You're right, I almost forgot that the same team that made the props and costumes was from LotR. Awesome similarities, but I guess its like that with all fantasies.

And you're right. They were quite successful swordsman, and horseback riders. Heck, in my first few months in fencing I'm still barely able to hold my foil properly.

The slow motion charge right before the battle brought me instantly back to the movie Waterloo. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Capt.England
12-12-2005, 01:18 PM
I always remember the cartoon version when I was a kid. It's was a very dark kind of story to me and I must say that I never once thought of it as a re-work of the bible. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Another thing that used to be shown this time of year in the early Eighties was the cartoon versions of Charles Dickens's stories. Am I right in thinking that this were done by the same cartoon makers?

Goodwood_Alpha
12-12-2005, 01:35 PM
I don't know who did them, but I remember not only the Narnia animated feature, but also the Dickens cartoons. They were all excellent; the Narnia one in particular, which means if the film is anything like that version, it should be good.

I've had a bit of time to think since my orignial post, and I've come to this conclusion: some of the more negative aspects of C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles (the bias against women, the martial combat, etc.) were likely a big part of his zeitgeist, what with the Second World War raging about in the background and the otherwise quite normal attitude (for the times) in regards to a woman's role.

So it's probably not really deserved, all of this criticism that's been heaped on Mr. Lewis. But having not read the His Dark Materials trilogy, it would be patently unfair for me to say anything about Pullman's work.

By the way, have you lot ever noticed that the vast majority of those "up in arms" over tales like the HDM trilogy and Harry Potter series have NEVER read them? It's true -- they rely on hearsay and third-hand accounts of what's going on (in the case of the Harry Potter books, at least).

Airmail109
12-12-2005, 02:14 PM
Capt.Lone sorry bout earlier, will carry on this discussion when im not so tired! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
No you didnt really ridicule Pullman, I was just defending him!

LilHorse
12-12-2005, 02:39 PM
Seems to me that Pullman's attempt to counter Narnia is the nadir in lack of imagination. So he doesn't agree with it. So what. Narnia isn't going to bring down civilization. How about writing something original? Maybe something that isn't so utterly ham-fisted clumsy as an opposition to Lewis' portrayal of Christianity. Seriously. And I'm no Bible thumpin' "halleluyah" Christian either. Far from it.

And since when did a rejection of religion ever prove itself to be more moral than acceptance? True, plenty of awful atrocities have been commited in the name of many religions. But take a look at 20th century history to see what those ideologies that rejected it were capable of. Tens of millions of people massacred in the name of such ideologies (or more accurately by certain people who espoused such ideologies). I guess they concidered religion to be "the opiate of the people" since it didn't kill 'em fast enough for their liking.

RocketDog
12-12-2005, 03:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aimail101:
Ok you think Pullmans an idiot....bite me

&lt;snip&gt;

If you can be bothered to read this you will realise that Pullman is not an idiot, and you are in fact....an idiot. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It seems to me that Pullman understood Narnia perfectly well, probably better than most of you brain dead monkeys will. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Charming.

RocketDog.

horseback
12-12-2005, 06:14 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ankanor:
I saw it on thursday and you're right, me and my friends thought we were in the wrong hall when the Heinkels appeared. I must say I never have read the books ... Which, for a die-hard fan of Tolkien like me was more than enough http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif It really is a more children-oriented book. But I liked it. Very much. I did not for one moment consider this as a Christian Propaganda. Maybe because I wasn't raised to believe in God - communist regime regards religion as "opium for the masses". Karl Marx's words I loved the story, loved the battles(although I would have rather seen some scenes with the boys learning something about swordfighting, riding, etc. before being able to fight on horseback, quite successfully too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

The Centaur knight charge was awesome!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I haven't had a chance to see the movie myself yet, but I read (or rather, devoured) the Chronicles of Narnia as a young adult Christian. The themes and symbology were immediately apparent to me, and would be to anyone acquainted with the Bible and traditional Christian theology.

Warfare in his books is often symbolic of the internal struggle of Good versus Evil in us all.

It might be entertaining for you to read the books-Lewis and Tolkien's story telling styles and language are very similar, but the Chronicles of Narnia were written with a much younger reader in mind. He also wrote quite a bit of nonfiction, but a lot of it was centered on his faith and its defense.

If you want something a little more adult and humorous from Lewis, I'd recommend The Screwtape Letters. However, be warned that most of what Lewis wrote was written with the aim of bringing people to the same faith he practiced.

cheers

horseback

Bearcat99
12-12-2005, 06:45 PM
The Screwtape letters wa actually the first C.S. Lewis I read. Still a winner in m book. I just saw the movie tonight. I never heard of Pullman or his work so I cant comment on it.. but I dont think Narnia was sexist at all... in fact... I think it equally distributed the chrcteristics good and bad among all the children. Except Edmund of course. Lucy was the one who was always the smartest and most decent. I thought the effects were great.

Old_Canuck
12-12-2005, 10:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aimail101:
Yes It does appear to be the same Capt.Lone, but many Christians dont believe the exact words of the Bible, there are more free thinkers/modernisers.....which there needs to be more for the Churches sake or the Church in Europe will be doomed.

Errr yes links please Capt.Lone, do you not realise that these might be trying to damadge Pullmans reputation! Are you a fool? If you read and understood his theology, youd realise he is not a satanist..(Read my second post on the first page...ALL OF IT!)..oh I forgot your IQ isnt high enough! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Aimail, I can't remember reading this tone from your posts before. Chin up, eh? Get some rest and try to get your Serotonin levels up, buddy :-)

Tiger27
12-12-2005, 11:09 PM
I spent the first 6 or so years of my life living down the road from where both CS Lewis and Tolkien lived, The Chronicles of Narnia were some of the best reading I did as a child, not sure about the religious side of things as Im not really that way inclined, but I do know Ill be taking my daughter along to see it.

Monson74
12-13-2005, 01:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tiger27:
I spent the first 6 or so years of my life living down the road from where both CS Lewis and Tolkien lived, The Chronicles of Narnia were some of the best reading I did as a child, not sure about the religious side of things as Im not really that way inclined, but I do know Ill be taking my daughter along to see it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

C.S. Lewis (like Tolkien) was a devoted Catholic & he used elements from the Bible in his books. I'll try & put it shortly: The first book is about the creation of Narnia & how everything came into being - Aslan uses his breath to create the world (see Genesis 1:2 & 2:7). The second book is about the struggle between good & evil - the evil witch (Satan) has taken power of all living things & the creatures are unable to free themselves. Aslan returns & sacrifices himself for his creation (read all four gospels - the chapters about the passion of Christ). He suffers a humiliating death but returns (the resurrection of Christ) even stronger & together with the children & the creatures he defeats the witch & frees Narnia. In the books that follow the fight between good & evil continues until the final battle - I don't remember this one very well but I think Narnia is destroyed but recreated again (Book of Revalations). The point is that Aslan is three in one - creator, savior & companion of Narnia in parallel with God, Christ & the Holy Spirit.