Why does Lewis include all the CN characters in this volume (except Susan, of course)?
I think it is kind of like a serenade—a goodbye—to Narnia as the readers have come to know it. I think Susan was largely absent from this for a few reasons. Although she appears in some of the books, I feel like her role was more supporting than those of the others. With that said, I do not think Lewis left her out of this goodbye serenade completely. Others mentioned her, and it was clear to me that she had moved on from Narnia, so it makes sense that she was not there for the end of it. It had already finished for her! Some may argue that Peter was in a similar position, but I think it is clear from the books that he had more of an attachment. Besides, Susan was also the last to believe in Narnia in the beginning, so I think she always had a shaky grasp on it.
Is the new Narnia attractive or not? Why or why not?
I have mixed feelings about the concept of the new Narnia. I think it has merit, but this introduction seems like it is a little bit of an afterthought, both in the series and a bit in this final book alone. I feel like if there had been more hints interwoven throughout the series, the new Narnia would look much more attractive to me than it does at the moment. It came as a surprise to me at the end. I think in some cases this type of ending could work, but I am not sure that it does for me here.
I was thinking about the ending to the Lord of the Rings and the ending to this. Both stories have an ending of an age/era/world but they are very different. Do you get the same feeling about the elves ending their sojourn and leaving Middle Earth as you do about, basically all the good guys dying off in this world, as well as the loss of the old Narnia?
I forget where I found this question, but I love the connection here. If you were not already aware, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were actually friends! However, what is my answer here?
No, I do not get the same feeling. I think maybe a part of this is because of the language the two authors use as well as the fact that The Lord of the Rings is not targeted to children in the same way as The Chronicles of Narnia. I know why it is not, yet I read it when I was quite young…funny, right? I felt quite a bit more emotion when I read the end of The Lord of the Rings. Maybe it is because I read it when I was younger?
In any case, I definitely see the similarity. You have many people in both stories leaving one world and heading to another, and some are left behind. I think that the end of The Lord of the Rings where you have them leaving is supposed to echo death in a way, but not quite (more moving on). I definitely think the end of The Last Battle is more literal. I think the major thing I would have explored would be how Susan is feeling about everything.
I think reading this series was nice because I never got the chance to finish. I also feel like I am more critical of it now, given that I am an adult. I highly suspect that if I had gotten to read these and really gotten into them as a child, I would have much more of an attachment to them. I cannot imagine they would reach my attachment to Harry Potter, but they would be closer than they are now. When all is said and done though, I think these books do have merit.
Title: The Last Battle
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publisher: Geoffrey Bles