There is no wardrobe in this Narnian episode, but a train station. How does this new way into Narnia affect the way you see its “magic”?
I do not believe that it affects the way I see the magic of Narnia at all. Magic can come from anywhere and everywhere, so I think changing the way they get into Narnia this time helps to demonstrate that fact. I also like how they really stuck together on the way in this time. Last time, we know Lucy was first and it was gradual from there, but this time it is all in, all at once. I think you can see that they grew quite close because of their experiences in Narnia in the last book.
How could Narnia have changed so much in the time since Peter, Lucy, Susan, and Edmund were first there? What are the reasons for these historical circumstances? Has it happened in our civilization too?
As we know from the Pevensie children’s first foray into Narnia, times passes differently. Thus, we can tell that hundreds of years past since their last adventure there. I think the reason for the amount of change is because of that time. You have to show time passing somehow, right? The ruins, the people, et cetera, are all indicators. In addition, I think C.S. Lewis needed to create a new issue for these children to solve, and as such the time passing and the dramatic change would have played into making that easier. If only a few minutes or days had past since the children’s last visit, I highly doubt they would have had much to fix. He needed time to make the story plausible. Probably not quite the way to answer this, but that is what I am thinking right now.
I think things like this have definitely happened in our civilization too! The Europeans were not native to the Americas and they took over. Australia was colonized… There are many examples of people coming in and settling in a country similar to how everything happened in Prince Caspian. It is the way things are, or at least have been (whether this is right or not is another debate).
What happens to a person, a neighborhood, a nation when basic belief falters and one’s forgets his or her roots and foundation? Is Aslan “missing” or have the Narnians banished him?
I think it would have a massive and negative impact when things begin to slip away. Think about it like a person suffering from Alzheimer’s (I have not had experience with this, so bear with me). This disease essentially eats away at someone’s memory. At first it is likely terrifying, but when most of their memory is gone…they do not know what they are missing. Would that still hurt? Yes, I believe it would. However, the beginning is still a bit more obvious at least.
This is why when someone’s belief is shaken or if they begin to disregard their foundation, the next period in their life is thrown into a sort of limbo. But as they continue to forget and adjust to the new changes, things calm down. In the case of Prince Caspian, Narnia, et cetera… I think that the Narnians lost their belief in Aslan. I fully believe that Aslan is a character who runs on belief. How else would you explain his reappearance with Lucy and her siblings? Thus, I think he went missing because the Narnians lost their belief. Maybe he was there all along, but no one could see him! I think some of the “New Narnians” may have had a hand in forcing him out by breaking the system of belief, but belief is still at the core of it. I do not believe Aslan left on his own (or, not entirely).
Prince Caspian learns from his tutor, Dr. Cornelius, some surprising news about his family heritage and his current circumstances. Have you ever had a surprising discovery about your own past life—revealed to you by a parent, trusted mentor, or friend? How has that shaped your outlook on how your life has unfolded? Would you rather not know?
You know, I do not think that I ever had something surprising revealed to me. Or, at least, not about my own past. Friends do confide in me about certain things and sometimes what they say will surprise me, but that is not quite the same thing. I do know some things about my extended family and the history that many would consider surprising, but it was never revealed in a dramatic fashion?
No, the things that have shaped my outlook have not been secrets like that. Mostly they are things that have happened in the world, to me, or something I have read in books. As for if I would rather not knowing…of course not. I think that, even if events were kept secret, they would still have a significant impact on someone’s life. Knowing about the secret though, would permit that person to have some form of control over that impact. I would want whatever measure of control I could manage with big impactful secrets related to my life.
I have only read two of these books so far, but I definitely am seeing already that The Chronicles of Narnia has more appeal as a set rather than individual books. Prince Caspian is a nice story, but I think the fact it builds on what we know from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe makes it stand up much better. I would love to carry this theory through to the end of this series. Would you agree with me though, at this stage?
Title: Prince Caspian
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publisher: Geoffrey Bles