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Very Disappointed in Narnia and C.S. Lewis. (1 Viewer)

After reading my post, do you agree with me?

  • No, Narnia is awesome! You're just a picky reader!

    Votes: 17 56.7%
  • Yes, definitely! The things you mentioned bothered me too!

    Votes: 6 20.0%
  • Narnia? I've never read that rubbish.

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • Erm... I suppose I do... no... not really... half and half...

    Votes: 3 10.0%
  • I don't care.

    Votes: 3 10.0%

  • Total voters
    30

jk7070436

Senior Member
Okay, I've just read a bit more than half of the series, only skipped the boring books of the series. And I have got to say, I'm a bit disappointed in the whole thing. Ever since I was nine, I've wanted to read this series after many failed attempts, for the simpleness of the writing didn't catch my eye. So I've finally gotten around to getting a copy of it.

My first main complaint is that it seems to me as if C.S. Lewis discards his characters as if they were scraps of papers with names scribbled onto them. I mean, I want to read about Digory and Polly, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, not some kid named Scrubb. No offence to Narnia fans, but I'm the type of reader who likes to stick with the characters and develop my understanding of their personality. I don't like being torn away from the main characters, get introduced to new ones, get torn away again, and then have a reunion with some characters that I've lost my bond with.

Secondly, it was sort of annoying how C.S. Lewis seemed to basically get stuff from the bible and hide it behind words. I feel as if I was betrayed. I mean, at first, I was like, "Aslan, okay, he's cool," then I learn that he represents Jesus. It doesn't feel real. I lost my trust in Lewis, now knowing that he's been--sorry if my opinions seem unreasonable right now--basically... I don't know a word to describe it. It's along the lines of preaching, feeding morals, and slyly stuffing "CHRISTIANITY!!!" down your throat.

Third, I really didn't like the ending, how Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and the rest of the gang all went to some sort of Narnia heaven, and Susan didn't because she was interested in nylons, lipsticks, invitations, and thought that Narnia wasn't real. I mean, how could anyone possibly forget about a gigantic war between good and evil, talking animals, and the like twice? How? I just don't get it? Plus, what's wrong with nylon, lipstick, and invitations? Is C.S. Lewis trying to say that it's a sin to care about those things?

*Huff, puff, gasps for air* That's what I have to say. And I'm sure that there are a bunch of people who will now come to me, barraging me with disagreements, but know this, my statements were mere opinions. My word is not the law, and I myself know that. Please be mature so we can have a serious discussion. I don't want to start some huge fight.

So, did anyone feel the same way after reading Narnia? Was anyone else disappointed or had their impression of C.S. Lewis drastically changed? Please share your opinions. Thanks, I've got to go to sleep. G'night.
 

casperthesheet

Senior Member
I would take this post seriously but the fact that you have skipped the "boring" books in the series says it all. Once the story became stale it was doomed to disappoint you.
 

Kimahri

Senior Member
Nope I love the Narnia books and the fact that Lewis used the Bible as an influence makes it all the better in my opinion.

kimahri
 

VinrAlfakyn

Senior Member
Susan didn't make it to heaven by the 7th book b/c she didn't die in the train accident like the others. But it never told what happened to her afterwards, so she could make it later on. I didn't like that she turned from believing in Narnia, but I suppose the ending leaves her able to come back if she wants......Pretty much all of C.S. Lewis' work is based on Christianity and the Bible. The Space Trilogy and Till We Have Faces were, and all the others like The Four Loves, for example. He's what I'd call a fantasy Christian writer. Another such author is Randy Alcorn, with his book Edge of Eternity, and Ted Dekker, with books like THR3E. I don't think he meant to imply that nylon and lipstick and such were a sin, just that Susan put them before a lot of other things and they became more important to her. For Christians, that would be a sin because you're putting something else before God. Also, I absolutely can't stand Scrubb everytime I read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, even though I've read the series more than once and I like him in the other books. I guess that was just random information................I loved that you get new characters exploring Narnia in each of the books, and then in the final book they all come together. Anyway, I suppose I'm rambling now. That's my view, though.
 
T

Trinket

Okay, rant/explanation/opinion ahead:

Now, to a point, I can understand what you're saying about not liking having Christianity shoved down your throat. Except that the entire book series is an allegory to the Bible, meant for Christian readers. If you are not, sorry. But they are.

Second, Lewis was not saying that there was anything wrong with lipstick, invitations, etc., and that was why Susan did not make it to the "Narnia heaven" as you call it. What he was saying was that she had decided that she was "too good for all the Narnia nonsense" and had become so sucked into a secular world that she had forgotten the truth. Again, an allegory that may not make sense unless you are a Christian or at least are familiar with the Bible's teachings. If you read the Dawn Treader, you will see that Lucy and Edmund are told that they will not return to Narnia (except the almost-Narnia they return to in the Last Battle) because they have gotten too old. Narnia is a children's world by definition.

Which leads me to my last point. You said Lewis discards his characters quickly, that you like to stick with a character and watch them develop, etc. Well, keep in mind that these books really were meant for children when they were written, generally ones in elementary school/middle school. Younger children don't stick with characters very well. They like to find something out, laugh about it for a little bit, and move on. Lewis kept his books captivating for younger audiences by moving from character to character quickly enough to keep their attention.

Okay, rant over. "To each his own," as the saying goes, and you apparently have a differing opinion than some of us *cough*me*cough* who grew up reading Narnia from the age of five. That's okay, it's your right. That's all, I'm done. Thank you. *takes a bow and dodges tomatoes*
 

jk7070436

Senior Member
Whew, I expected a bunch of people to start yelling at me(with caps), glad that no one's killed me yet. Anyways, looks like no one agrees with me :(, but VinrAlfakyn, we agree on one thing... We both hate Scrubb. Well, you hate him in one book, but personally, I sort of liked him better in the Dawn Treader. I know it wouldn't be so good if he stood as a stuck up idiot for the rest of the series, but it was funny. I loved his journal entries.

I have a question. I read somewhere that Tolkien didn't like Narnia and told his opinions of it to C.S. Lewis... Why didn't he like it? DOes anyone happen to know? By the way, I'm not saying I like Narnia, just a question.
 

VinrAlfakyn

Senior Member
Tolkien didn't like it as much because it was Christian based. He thought that it was ok to base it on that a little bit, but not almost entirely. For a fantasy book, anyway.

Also, I thought Scrubb's journals were pretty funny too. It's neat to compare his views of everybody with how we view them. He's a real stinker in that book, though.
 

jk7070436

Senior Member
Oh, yeah, the movie! I don't like the books much, but I'm gonna see the movie :). It looks like it'll be alright, but from what I've seen in trailers, I think they added a bunch of stuff into it, rather than take stuff out, like they did with LOTR and HP.
 
T

Trinket

I'm definitely going to see the movie!

About Tolkien, I'm not sure why (or if) he didn't like Narnia, but I do know that he was a Christian. So he may not have agreed with how MUCH Bible Lewis put in his books, but he certainly was not opposed to the Christianity itself. In fact, Lord of the Rings has many allegorical references to the Bible, if not as obvious as Lewis'.
 

Rhea

Senior Member
I abosulute adore Narnia...I read it eons ago and I just reread it again, before the movie came out. I understand what you mean about having Christianity shoved down your throat, and I agree with everything that Trinket said.

At first I didn't really like that we were introduced to all the new characters (I still wanted to read more about the four Pevensies) but then you really get to like them about as much as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. I still liked Scrubb in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, though, I thought he was funny even though the rest found him annoying (and yes, especially the journal entries were hilarious!)

I love the way that C.S. Lewis writes the series, though, even though it's simple and all that.

I've just watched the movie, and if you were worried they'd cut a lot of things out, rest assured :p they didn't! I think they were really faithful to the books! (Unlike Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings). I may have missed tiny tiny details but there was never a moment where I went, "Hey, where's this part?" or "How could they do that?"

You know the part when they enter the wardrobe and it's mentioned whether or not the close the door? Just like the book, they made sure that Lucy didn't close the door, Edmund did and Peter didn't. I don't know, it just made me feel good to know that they got that small detail right. And I absolutely adore Mr. Tumnus...

The only bad thing I really have to say is that there were a lot more centaurs than I thought there should be and not enough animals. And Aslan wasn't shining and golden enough :p I also didn't think the armies would be soo big, but that's probably just me.
 

Dephere

Senior Member
To tell the truth I hate religion...not the people who are religious, or their beliefs, but it would be my "hell" to be religious. (I don't mean to offend anyone, oh and for all those people who just started praying for me you can stop.) But this aversion does not impede my ability to appreciate biblical stories.

No, I didn't love the books, but they were a good read. I enjoyed those books much more than half the books I have read. I can, however, clearly see why the characters feel like "names written on scraps of paper" as jk put it.

I would not recommend the books to anyone, but they allowed me to kill some time.
 

Verago

Senior Member
Yeah.
I actually slightly hate Narnia.
There's already a really good book about Christianity out. You might've heard about it.
It's called The Bible.

I have nothing against Christianity or Christians, seeing as how I am one.
But, seriously...Get some new inspiration. You'd think a "great writer" like C.S. Lewis wouldn't have to stoop so low as to steal ideas, even whole plotlines, from another book, or books.

I guess there's no problem with copyright, 'cause I don't think anyone has a copyright on The Bible.

But...
Jeez.

--Ethan
 

Dephere

Senior Member
I agree with you to a degree, Verago, but I do think CS Lewis did have to contain some creativity in him to create this. I mean, yes, he may have taken some, but not all, of his ideas from the bible.

Even parraleling an already told story takes a rather large amount of ingenuity, at least if you want to do it in a new...more interesting way
 

Verago

Senior Member
I agree with your agreeing with me to a degree to a degree, Dephere.
Hahaha.

Though, in my opinion, creating a plot is one of the hardest parts of writing.
C.S. Lewis didn't have to do this; he pulled it from parts of the Bible.

All he had to do was create metaphors. While it takes imagination, it's hardly as difficult as plotting.

In my opinion.

Ethan.
 

Rhea

Senior Member
But was every single thing taken from the Bible? Surely he did have to make some things up himself...?

But a lot of books out there have the same basic plotline, though.
 
S

strange_glue

My first main complaint is that it seems to me as if C.S. Lewis discards his characters as if they were scraps of papers with names scribbled onto them. I mean, I want to read about Digory and Polly, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, not some kid named Scrubb. No offence to Narnia fans, but I'm the type of reader who likes to stick with the characters and develop my understanding of their personality. I don't like being torn away from the main characters, get introduced to new ones, get torn away again, and then have a reunion with some characters that I've lost my bond with.

I totally see your point here, although this did enhance the fact that the books are about 'NARNIA' not about edmund, peter, susan, and lucy. I think keeping those for in all the time would certainly have made the books different. Not necessarily better, not necessarily worse, but certainly I think they would have had a different 'Feel' to them.
Can you imagine Potter having potter taken out and being about all different people and set at hogwarts in the wizarding world? I haven't got used to scrubb and Pole yet, but I am only early on in the book with them in it.

Secondly, it was sort of annoying how C.S. Lewis seemed to basically get stuff from the bible and hide it behind words. I feel as if I was betrayed. I mean, at first, I was like, "Aslan, okay, he's cool," then I learn that he represents Jesus. It doesn't feel real. I lost my trust in Lewis, now knowing that he's been--sorry if my opinions seem unreasonable right now--basically... I don't know a word to describe it. It's along the lines of preaching, feeding morals, and slyly stuffing "CHRISTIANITY!!!" down your throat.

This book was written at a time when England was a christian country, for, at the time, a primarilary christian audience. Now, you wouldn't complain about someone in Iraq writing a story that 'takes bit's' from the Koran would you?

It's certainly not an attempt to shove anything, down anyones throat.

As someone who strongly dislikes organised religion, I must say I have no problem with Narnia, or the fact that it is blatantly based on religion. So what if Aslan is based on Jesus? Does it stop him being the coolest character ever. Fuck no it doesn't.
The problem with your attitude about christianity and Narnia, is that you are exactly the same as the people you have a problem with. A complete lack of ability to distuinguish fantasy from reality (IMHO) so,
Aslans based on Jesus? You don't believe in Jesus.... So what? Do you believe in Aslan? As fiction goes, do you think jesus is a bad person? Has this tarnished Aslans character for you?
Third, I really didn't like the ending, how Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and the rest of the gang all went to some sort of Narnia heaven, and Susan didn't because she was interested in nylons, lipsticks, invitations, and thought that Narnia wasn't real. I mean, how could anyone possibly forget about a gigantic war between good and evil, talking animals, and the like twice? How? I just don't get it? Plus, what's wrong with nylon, lipstick, and invitations? Is C.S. Lewis trying to say that it's a sin to care about those things?

How could anyone forget? The point is supposed to be, from a christian point of view, that WE DO forget. A gigantic war between good and evil, a perfect garden where you can live in happiness for all eternity, How could we forget. But, from a christian point of view, we forget, every day.

He's saying it's wrong to pay more attention to materialistic things in this world, and to forget about God, and Jesus. Caring more about greed, than God.

So, did anyone feel the same way after reading Narnia? Was anyone else disappointed or had their impression of C.S. Lewis drastically changed? Please share your opinions. Thanks, I've got to go to sleep. G'night.

I'll tell you, I have tried to read the lion the witch and the wardrobe a few times, got a few pages in, and put it down again. I didn't find it interesting atall. The I realised there were seven books (Yep, I thought it was only the one). The second I started on the magicians nephew I was hooked.
There are parts that bore me, and I tend to start reading a bit faster (That happens to me with all books) but generally, I love the world, I love the ideas.

I've also discovered one my favourite characters ever from a book : Puddleglum.
 
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