On The Chronicles of Narnia

Missing the Point

By Sarah Beth Durst

Remember Bambi? Cute deer. Cute bunny. Cute skunk. Very scary forest fire. Very traumatic death of Bambi’s mother. . . . Yeah, I don’t actually remember that last part. Seriously, when I saw Bambi, I didn’t realize that his mother died. I thought that Bambi’s parents were simply divorced and now it was time for his dad to have custody. Later, I was the kid in high school English who argued that Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” wasn’t about suicide. I thought it was a very nice poem about a pretty New England forest like the one behind my house, which was quite lovely, dark, and deep. So as you might imagine, I was also the kid who totally missed all the religious symbolism in the Narnia books.

But I still loved the books.

Why? Why do these books hold such sway over the hearts and imagination of the thousands of people like me who simply didn’t notice the pervasive and often overt Christian references that are at the heart of the novels? Why are they still meaningful to people who completely missed the point?

The Cat’s Meow

Let me first say that the religious references are absolutely there. No question. If you don’t believe me, just Google C. S. Lewis. Go on. I’ll wait.

See? Very religious man.

Just like I’m 99.9 percent sure that Disney meant for Bambi’s mother to (euphemistically speaking) meet God, I’m also 99.9 percent sure that C. S. Lewis meant for the Lion Aslan to (allegorically  …

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