Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"So afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

It may be time to read the Narnia books again. Like all really good books written for children they reward adult readers, too. Joseph Rossell writes "There are plenty of stories from my childhood that I appreciate even more now that I’m older and realize how perceptively they connect to real life. One such story is The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, the final book in The Chronicles of Narnia."

From "Dwarfs, Disillusionment & The Last Battle":
.... One particular plotline stood out to me during my latest experience with The Last Battle. The story’s protagonists – King Tirian of Narnia and children Eustice and Jill from Earth – daringly rescued about 30 dwarves from being enslaved by Narnia’s enemies. Instead of responding with gratitude, all but one of the dwarfs refused to fight for Narnia....

The dwarfs’ main complaint was they no longer trusted in Aslan after Narnia’s enemies set up a false Aslan....

“I feel I’ve heard as much about Aslan as I want to for the rest of my life,” Griffle the dwarf said. “We’ve been taken in once and now you expect us to be taken in the next minute. We’ve no more use for stories about Aslan, see!” ....

Perhaps in their most famous scene, the dwarfs demonstrated a baffling level of cynicism, eerily reminiscent of modern Western thought. The dwarfs refused to acknowledge they had arrived in Aslan’s country (aka, the “real” Narnia). They insisted they were still in old Narnia, imprisoned in the stable where they were thrown by their enemies. Even Aslan himself tried to convince the dwarves that they were free, but to no avail.
“Starting a new lie! Trying to make us believe we’re none of us shut up, and it ain’t dark, and heaven knows what,” the dwarfs said.

They later insisted Aslan wasn’t really there: “Don’t take any notice! They won’t take us in again.”

“They will not let us help them,” Aslan explained. “They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own mind, yet they are in that prison, and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.” .... [more]