The Silver Chair is one of my favorites of the Chronicles of Narnia, coming in after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and possibly The Voyage of the Dawn Treader–it’s definitely in the top three. Do you know why I love it so much? Puddleglum. Pure and simple. Never has a character, except for perhaps a few of those of A.A. Milne, ever captured the essence of my personality as C.S. Lewis did in Puddleglum. Yes–there you have it, folks–I am the consummate pessimist who tries very hard to “put a good face on things,” to borrow dear Puddleglum’s own explanation of how best to approach the world and all its disappointments. I was so excited to share Puddleglum with my girls! I’m pretty sure they didn’t get why I love him so much, but that certainly didn’t keep me from enjoying my time spent underground with him, Scrubb, and Pole. We all love Puddleglum because of his bullheaded faithfulness to Aslan and Narnia, even in the face of overwhelming doubt and odds. Of course, this story is just replete with all kinds of spiritual imagery, which is something I never, ever tire of even after revisiting Narnia for the nth time. One thing I noticed is how much imagery from the Revelation, not to mention Arthurian legend (though I could be wrong here), there is in this story. Another thing I noticed since I read this one aloud for the very first time (after having read it silently to myself several times in the past) is the wonderful assonance Lewis uses with the owls. Glimfeather says,
Whoo! Tu-whoo! What a to-do! I can’t think clearly yet. It’s too early. (32)
Imagine you’re an owl and then read that aloud. See what I mean? 🙂
Simply put, I love The Silver Chair, and now my girls do, too. I’ve looked forward to reading this one to them for a long time. I love how it shows allegorically the “many dangers, toils, and snares” (to borrow a line from a famous hymn) that we might encounter in our lives as Christians, but in the end “[our] quest will be worth all the pains it cost” (199). What heroism! What bravery! What faithfulness! What Truth! I love it!
This is the fourth of the Narnian Chronicles I’ve read aloud to my girls, all thanks to Carrie’s Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge. Here are links to all my previous Narnia posts:
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (read aloud–one of my favorites ever)
- Prince Caspian (read aloud)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (read aloud)
- The Magician’s Nephew (read alone)
- The Narnian by Alan Jacobs (excellent biography of Lewis read alone)
- Roar! by Heather Kopp and David Kopp (supplemental book read alone)
What have you been reading with your family?