Story: Four British children (Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie) go to the countryside to escape World War 2 bombing. There, they magically travel to Narnia, a land full of enchantment, epic battles and talking animals—including centaurs (half man/horse) and fauns (half man/goat) from Greek & Norse mythology. Jadis, the White Witch, has made it “always winter but never Christmas,” and she entices one of the siblings to join her side, even though it means betraying his brother and sisters. The ancient laws of Narnia say that whenever someone is treacherous his blood becomes the witch’s property (i.e., she gets to kill him on the Stone Table). How will Aslan, the rightful king of Narnia, deal with the traitor and the witch? And what will happen in the Civil War that follows? You’ll need to watch to find out!
The story is based on the beloved tale by Oxford University professor C.S. Lewis; his seven-book series has sold over 85 million copies (in 29 languages) since the 1950s. (The Disney film version is over 2 hours; fantasy/adventure, Oscar in 2006)
Setting: starts and ends in England, during World War 2, but most of the action takes place in a magical land called Narnia
Tagline: Some journeys take us far from home. Some adventures lead us to our destiny.
Note: You can learn more about Narnia and the Narnia films by looking at sample news articles I’ve copied from my book: Successful Writing for the Real World.
People and proper nouns:
- Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie: the four main characters, from oldest to youngest
- Aslan: the oversized Lion who is “Lord of Narnia” and “son of the great Emperor”
- The White Witch (Jadis): formerly “the Emperor’s hangman” and now calls herself queen of Narnia
- Turkish Delight: an expensive type of candy (see dialog 9)
Vocabulary:(underlined words are vocabulary terms; *key terms) Blue terms are in part 1; green terms are in part 2; orange are part 3.
- *to betray（出卖，背叛): [vt] to bring harm or be disloyal to someone who trusts you (your family, country, co-workers, etc.), often by helping an enemy
- bow (弓): a pre-gun weapon that fired arrows (矢) with the help of a bent piece of wood and tight string
- centaur: a brave creature that is half man and half horse (from Greek mythology)
- dagger: a small knife
- dryad: a female “tree spirit” (from Greek mythology)
- dwarf: a person (in legends and fairy tales) who looks like a small man (in many stories, these people work underground, as miners)
- *to entice (勾引): to persuade a person or animal to do sth by offering something they want (like offering a bone to a dog)
- *extinct: a plant or animal (like dinosaurs) that no longer exists
- *fantasy（幻想): [c, fantasies] a type of story based on imagination, featuring magic or unusual worlds, creatures, experiences, etc.
- faun: a creature that is half man, half goat (from Greek mythology)
- *to fraternize: to be friendly with an enemy (i.e., with someone your leaders think of as an enemy)
- gonna: oral English, meaning “going to” (you should never write the word “gonna” because it is not really a word)
- gryphon/griffin: a mythical animal with a lion’s body and an eagle’s wings and head
- horn: an instrument (originally made from an animal’s horn) used to warn others (esp. an army) or to play music
- *huge: extremely large
- *to injure (an injury): to hurt yourself or someone else (often passive: “He was injured when something fell on him.”)
- *logically: in a well-reasoned way that shows clear thinking and judgment
- *lullaby (lullabies): a song sung at bedtime, to try to help children go to sleep
- minotaur: an animal (in legends and fairy tales) that is half bull and half man, and that eats people
- *to patronize: to talk to sb as if they are stupid when they are not (often when pretending to show respect)
- *prophecy: a saying that tells of events (revealed by God or a spirit of some kind) that will come true in the future
- *sacrifice (牺牲，献身): [n(c&u) & vti] to give up sth valuable for the sake of sth more valuable; to give up your desires, safety, or even your own life for the sake of something considered more valuable (such as another person’s safety, obedience to God, or the possibility of future reward). “Aslan sacrificed his life to pay for Edmund’s treachery, believing that the result would be better for Narnia in the end.” “In many cultures, people sacrifice their animals to ‘pay’ for the forgiveness of their sin, and thus show God that they understand how valuable forgiveness is.”
- *sarcastically: saying things that are the opposite of what you mean, in order to make an unkind joke or to show that you are annoyed
- *shield (盾): a strong, flat piece of metal or wood, used to protect a soldier from others’ swords or arrows
- *sibling: brother or sister, or descendant of a common ancestor. In Narnia, Peter and his siblings are also called “sons of Adam and daughters of Eve,” and Narnia had an old prophecy (预言) that four human siblings would come someday to bring peace and justice back to Narnia.
- sword (剑): a long, sharp knife-like weapon
- treacherous (背叛朋友): dangerous because you think you can trust it/him but really you cannot
- *treason: the crime of being disloyal to your country or its government
- *traitors (叛徒): someone who acts in a disloyal way, especially if disloyal to his government or other leaders (which is called treason)
- *wardrobe: a piece of furniture used to hang clothes in (esp jackets, coats, long dresses, and suits)
- *“hide and seek”: a children’s game, where several children hide and one tries to find them; the last one “found” wins
- *“His bark is worse than his bite.”: He sounds or seems dangerous, but he really isn’t–used to say that a person isn’t as bad as others think he is.
- *“Try me.”: Tell me, even if you think I won’t believe you. I want to hear about it.
- *“You haven’t got it in you.”: You are not brave, strong, smart (etc.) enough to do this.
Sentences/dialogs from the movie (part 1):(many are from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363771/quotes; blue indicates a key dialog of sentence) Part 1 ends at 47:08, just after Mrs. Beaver says: “I never thought I’d live to see this day.” There is not much time for discussion during the first class.
- 1. [As German planes bomb their home in London, during World War 2.]
- Mrs. Pevensie: Edmund! Get away from there! Peter! [to Edmund] What do you think you’re doing? Peter! Quickly, to the shelter! Now!
- [Edmund disobeys, and runs back into the house to get a photo of their father; Peter has to go rescue him, and the window explodes while they are in the house.]
- Peter Pevensie [criticizing his brother]: Why can’t you think about anyone but yourself? You’re so selfish! You could have got us killed! Why can’t you just do as you’re told?
- 2. [The children take a train to live in the countryside. Note: this really happened, to get the children out of London during the bombing.]
- Susan [waiting at a train station]: The professor knew we were coming.
- Edmund: Perhaps we’ve been incorrectly labeled.
- [Someone arrives in a horse-drawn carriage.]
- Peter: Mrs. MacReady?
- Mrs. MacReady: I’m afraid so.
- 3. [The next day, they are playing inside, because it is raining outside.]
- Susan: Gastrovascular… Come on, Peter. Gastrovascular.
- Peter: Is it Latin?
- Susan: Yes.
- Edmund: Is it Latin for “worst game ever invented”?
- [Susan shuts her dictionary]
- Lucy: We could play hide and seek?
- Peter (sarcastically): But, we’re already having so much fun.
- 4. [While they are playing, Lucy hides in the wardrobe, and enters Narnia for the first time. There, she meets Mr. Tumnus, who tells Lucy that he is a faun.]
- Mr. Tumnus: And what about you? You must be some kind of beardless dwarf?
- Lucy: I’m not a dwarf! I’m a girl. And actually, I’m tallest in my class.
- Mr. Tumnus: You mean to say that you’re a daughter of Eve?
- Lucy: [confused] Well, my mum’s name is Helen…
- Mr. Tumnus: Y-Yes, but, you are in fact… human?
- Lucy: Yes, of course.
- Mr. Tumnus: What are you doing here?
- Lucy: Well, I was hiding in the wardrobe in the spare room, and…
- Mr. Tumnus: Spare Oom? Is that in Narnia?
- Lucy: Narnia? What’s that?
- Mr. Tumnus: Well, dear girl, you’re in it. Everything from the lamppost, all the way to Castle Cair Paravel on the Eastern Ocean, every stick and stone you see, every icicle is Narnia.
- Lucy: This is an awfully big wardrobe.
- Mr. Tumnus: War Drobe? I’m sorry, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tumnus.
- Lucy: [holds out her hand] Pleased to meet you Mr. Tumnus, I’m Lucy Pevensie. [Mr. Tumnus looks at her hand curiously.] Oh, you shake it.
- Mr. Tumnus: Why?
- Lucy: I… I don’t know. People do it when they meet each other.
- Mr. Tumnus: Well… How would it be if you came and had tea with me?
- 5. Mr. Tumnus: [sees Lucy looking at picture] Now, that… that is my father.
- Lucy: He has a nice face. He looks a lot like you!
- Mr. Tumnus: No. No, I’m not very much like him at all, really.
- Lucy: My father’s fighting in the war.
- Mr. Tumnus: My father went away to war too. But that was a long, long time ago, before this dreadful winter.
- Lucy: Winter’s not all bad. There’s ice skating, snowball fights… and Christmas!
- Mr. Tumnus: Not here. No, we haven’t had a Christmas in a hundred years.
- Lucy: What? No presents for a hundred years?
- Mr. Tumnus: Always winter, never Christmas.
- 6. Mr. Tumnus: Now, are you familiar with any Narnian lullabies?
- Lucy: Sorry, no.
- Mr. Tumnus: Well that’s good, because this probably won’t sound anything like one.
- 7. Lucy [after being asleep in Mr. Tumnus’ house for a while]: Oh, I should go.
- Mr. Tumnus: It’s too late for that, now. I’m such a terrible faun.
- Lucy: Oh, no. You’re the nicest faun I’ve ever met.
- Mr. Tumnus: Then I’m afraid you’ve had a very poor sampling.
- Lucy: You can’t have done anything that bad.
- Mr. Tumnus: It’s not something I have done, Lucy Pevensie. It’s something I am doing.
- Lucy: [curiously] What are you doing?
- Mr. Tumnus: [whispers, and in tears] I’m kidnapping you. It was the White Witch. She’s the one who makes it always winter, always cold. She gave orders. If any of us ever find a human wondering in the woods, we’re supposed to turn it over to her!
- Lucy: But, Mr. Tumnus, you wouldn’t. I thought you were my friend.
- 8. Lucy [back at the Professor’s house, after being in Narnia for hours]: It’s all right! I’m back! I’m all right!
- Edmund [trying to play Hide and Seek]: Shut up! He’s coming!
- Peter [seeing Lucy and Edmund standing there]: You know, I’m not sure you two have quite got the idea of this game.
- Lucy: Weren’t you wondering where I was?
- Edmund: That’s the point. That was why he was seeking you!
- Susan: Does this mean I win?
- Peter: I don’t think Lucy wants to play anymore.
- Lucy: I’ve been gone for hours.
- [She explains, and they examine the wardrobe—finding nothing unusual; then they accuse her of imagining Narnia.]
- Lucy: I wouldn’t lie about this!
- Edmund [sarcastically]: Well, I believe you.
- Lucy: You do?
- Edmund: Yeah, of course. Didn’t I tell you about the football field in the bathroom cupboard?
- Peter [as Lucy starts to cry]: Will you just stop. You just have to make everything worse, don’t you?
- Edmund: It was just a joke.
- Peter: When are you gonna learn to grow up?
- Edmund: Shut up! You think you’re dad, but you’re NOT!
- Susan [sarcastically]: Well, that was nicely handled.
- 9. [Later, Edmund follows Lucy into the wardrobe, where he—alone—meets the White Witch. She convinces him that she is the Queen of Narnia, and pretends to be nice to Edmund to win his confidence. She even says that he could become Narnia’s king someday.]
- White Witch (Jadis): I can make anything you like.
- Edmund: Can you make me taller?
- White Witch: Anything you want…to eat.
- Edmund: Turkish Delight?
- [The White Witch uses magic to make this expensive, imported candy for Edmund, along with hot chocolate. Then she tells Edmund to bring his brother and sisters to meet her, explaining that “a king needs dukes” and others to help him run the country.]
- White Witch: Beyond these woods, you see those two hills? My house is right between them…. Until then, dear one, I’m gonna miss you.
- 10. [Edmund and Lucy meet each other in Narnia, and return through the wardrobe together. But Edmund lies to the others, saying that there was no such thing as Narnia. Lucy runs down the hall, crying, and runs into the professor, which makes Mrs. MacReady angry.]
- Professor Kirke: You seem to have upset the delicate internal balance of my housekeeper.
- Peter: We’re very sorry, sir, it won’t happen again.
- Susan: It’s our sister, sir. Lucy.
- Professor Kirke: The weeping girl?
- Susan: Yes, sir. She’s upset.
- Professor Kirke: Hence the weeping.
- Peter: It’s nothing. We can handle it.
- Professor Kirke [sarcastically]: I can see that.
- Susan [talking about Lucy]: It’s our sister. She thinks she’s found a magical land… In the upstairs wardrobe.
- Professor Kirke: [eyes widening with interest] What did you say?
- Peter: Um, the wardrobe. Upstairs. Lucy thinks she’s found a forest inside.
- Susan: She won’t stop going on about it.
- Professor Kirke: What was it like?
- Susan: Like talking to a lunatic.
- Professor Kirke: No, no, no. Not her, the forest?
- Susan: [stares] You’re not saying you believe her?
- Professor Kirke: You don’t?
- Susan: But, of course not. I mean, logically it’s impossible.
- Professor Kirke: What do they teach in schools these days?
- Peter: Edmund said they were only pretending.
- Professor Kirke: And he’s usually the more truthful one, is he?
- Peter: No. This would be the first time.
- Professor Kirke: Well, if she’s not mad [i.e., crazy] and she’s not lying, then “logically” we must assume she’s telling the truth.
- Peter: You’re saying that we should just believe her?
- Professor Kirke: She’s your sister isn’t she? You’re a family. You might just try acting like one.
- 11. [After breaking a window by accident, the children are running from “The MacReady” and decide to hide in the wardrobe. Then they all end up in Narnia together.]
- Peter: I don’t suppose saying “we’re sorry” would quite cover it?
- Lucy: No, it wouldn’t. [Then she hits him with a snowball] But that might!
- [Peter makes Edmund apologize for lying about not having been in Narnia]
- Lucy: [sarcastically quoting Edmund] That’s all right. Some little children just don’t know when to stop pretending.
- 12. [They find that Mr. Tumnus has been arrested for “treason” and “fraternizing with humans.”]
- Peter: Maybe we could call to the police.
- Susan [waving the document that tells about these “crimes”]: These ARE the police!
- [They argue about whether they should help the faun; Edmund doesn’t think so, calling him “a criminal.”]
- Susan: Did that bird just “pssst” us?
- [They go outside, and see something moving nearby. When it finally comes out…]
- Lucy: It… It’s a beaver.
- Peter [not knowing that Narnia’s animals can talk]: Here, boy, tsk, tsk, tsk. [Peter holds out a hand.]
- Mr. Beaver: I ain’t going to smell it, if that’s what you want. [they laugh] Lucy Pevensie?
- Lucy: Hey, that’s the hankie I gave to Mr. Tumnus.
- Mr. Beaver: He got it to me just before they took him…
- [He tells them to follow him to a safer place to talk; they argue about whether they should trust him.]
- Peter: He said he knows the faun.
- Susan: He’s a beaver, he shouldn’t be saying anything!
Discussion (part 1):
(You can also find additional discussion questions at the bottom of this post)
- Peter and Susan were surprised when the professor believed Lucy’s story. What reasons did he give? (see dialog 10).
- To what extent was the character of Lucy and Edmund (i.e., what they normally DO) related to the way others reacted to what they SAY?
- Have you ever heard something you felt was too hard to believe—but it was true? Tell us about it.
- Perhaps Narnia was like the world of these children’s dreams. If YOU slipped through a secret passage into another world, what would your “dream world” look like?
- If you were Edmund, would you take the candy? Why or why not?
- Edmund was tempted and drawn away by his favorite thing: Turkish Delight. What is your favorite thing? How much are you willing to sacrifice to get or keep it?
Sentences/dialogs from the movie (part 2):
Part 2 ends at 1:32.21, just after Jadis gets off her seat, before she speaks to Aslan.
- 13. Mr. Beaver: There’s a right bit more than hope. Aslan… is on the move.
- Edmund: Who’s Aslan?
- Mr. Beaver: …Well, he’s only the King of the whole wood. The top geezer. The real King of Narnia. [He explains that Aslan’s return and their arrival are part of a “prophecy.”] “When Adam’s Flesh and Adam’s bone sits at Cair Paravel in throne, the evil time will be over and done.”
- Susan: You know that doesn’t really rhyme.
- Mr. Beaver: You’re kinda missing the point! [The beavers say the children are here to defeat the witch and restore peace to Narnia.]
- Peter: I think you’ve made a mistake. We’re not heroes!
- Susan: We’re from Finchley! [upset, and trying to depart] Thank you for your hospitality, but we really have to go.
- Mr. Beaver: Oh, you can’t just leave.
- Lucy: He’s right. We have to help Mr. Tumnus.
- [Still trying to leave, they discover that Edmund has left them.]
- Peter: I’m gonna kill him.
- Mr. Beaver: You may not have to [i.e., sb else may do it first]. Has Edmund ever been to Narnia before?
- 14. [Deceived into thinking that the White Witch liked him and wanted to help him, Edmund sneaks out of the Beaver house and goes to the witch’s castle. Maugrim—a wolf—is guarding the door.]
- Maugrim: Be still, stranger, or you’ll never move again. Who are you?
- Edmund: I’m Edmund. I met the Queen in the woods. She told me to come back here. I’m a Son of Adam!
- Maugrim: Hmmm, my apologies, fortunate favorite of the queen. Or else, not so fortunate.
- [Maugrim comes back, and takes Edmund to see the queen, who is angry that Edmund didn’t bring his siblings—because she wants to kill them all.]
- White Witch: Tell me, Edmund. Are your sisters deaf?
- Edmund: No.
- White Witch: And your brother, is he unintelligent?
- Edmund: Well, I think so. But Mum says…
- White Witch: [shouting] Then how dare you come alone!
- 15. [Mrs. Beaver is packing food before they flee from the wolves]
- Peter: What’s she doing?
- Mrs. Beaver: Oh, you’ll be thanking me later. It’s a long journey, and Beaver gets pretty cranky when he’s hungry.
- Mr. Beaver: I’m cranky now!
- 16. [After escaping from Maugrim’s wolves, Peter et al find a group that has been turned to stone by the witch’s magic. Mr. Beaver’s best friend, a badger, is one of the “stone” creatures.]
- Peter: What happenend here?
- Fox [who didn’t arrive with Peter]: This is what becomes of those who cross the witch.
- Mr. Beaver: You take one more step, traitor, and I’ll chew you to splinters!
- Fox: Relax. I’m one of the good guys.
- Mr. Beaver: Yeah? Well, you look an awful lot like one of the bad ones.
- Fox: An unfortunate family resemblance. But we can argue breeding later. Right now we’ve got to move.
- [Peter and the others quickly hide in a tree, while the Fox stays below to protect them.]
- Fox [to Maugrim’s angry wolves]: Greetings, gents. Lost something, have we?
- Maugrim: Don’t patronize me! I know where your allegiance lies. We’re looking for some humans.
- Fox: Humans? Here in Narnia? That’s a valuable bit of information, don’t you think?
- Maugrim [to Fox, who is now in the mouth of a wolf]: You’re reward is your life. It’s not much. But still… Where are the fugitives?
- Fox [hesitating, and in pain]: North. They ran north.
- [The wolves run off, and soon after that we see Mrs. Beaver nursing Fox, who was injured by the Wolves]
- Fox: They were helping Tumnus. The Witch got here before I did. Ouch! I wish I could say their bark was worse than their bite. Ow!
- Mrs. Beaver: Stop squirming! You’re worse than Beaver on bath day.
- Mr. Beaver: Worst day of the year.
- 17. White Witch [to Tumnus, in her prison, next to Edmund]: Do you know why you’re here, Faun?
- Mr. Tumnus: Because, I believe in a free Narnia.
- White Witch: You’re here because he [Edmund] turned you in… for sweeties.
- 18. Peter [looking out over Narnia, to where they are heading]: It’s so far.
- Mrs. Beaver: It’s the world, dear. Did you expect it to be small?
- Susan: Smaller.
- 19. [After walking/running a long way, the children are all getting tired.]
- Mr. Beaver: Come on, humans. While we’re still young!
- Peter: If he tells us to hurry one more time, I’m gonna turn him into a big, fluffy hat.
- [If you are trying to get half-way on the first day, stop just as the children/beavers start to run (about 1:07).]
- 20. [The children meet an old man, in a dark red suit; this is the European version of “Santa Claus,” who is called “Father Christmas” in England—where the children are from.]
- Susan: I thought there was no Christmas in Narnia.
- Father Christmas: No. For a long time. But the hope that you have brought, your Majesties, is finally starting to weaken the Witch’s power. Still, I dare say you could use these…
- Lucy: Presents!!
- Father Christmas gives each child the following:
- –Lucy: The juice of the Fire Flower (representing “healing”; one drop cures any injury), and a dagger, saying, “Battles are ugly affairs”
- –Susan: Arrows and a bow (representing “trust”), and a horn, saying that when it is blown, “Wherever you are, help will come”
- –Peter: a sword and shield (with a red lion on it, representing “faith” in Aslan), saying, “These are tools, not toys”
- Father Christmas: Now I must be off. Winter is almost over…. Long live Aslan, and Merry Christmas!
- Lucy: [to Susan, after Father Christmas departs] I told you he was real!
- 21. [Mr Beaver is carefully testing the strength of the ice. It starts to crack beneath him]
- Mrs. Beaver: You’ve been sneaking second helpings, haven’t you?
- Mr. Beaver: Well, you never know which meal’s gonna be your last. Especially with your cooking.
- 22. Fox: Forgive me, your Majesty.
- White Witch: Oh, don’t waste my time with flattery.
- Fox: Not to seem rude, but I wasn’t actually talking to you. [he looks at Edmund]
- [the White Witch is about to kill the Fox, when Edmund interupts]
- Edmund: Wait! No, don’t. Beaver said something about The Stone Table. And that Aslan had an army there.
- White Witch: An army? Thank you, Edmund. I’m glad this creature got to see some honesty… before he dies! [Jadis turns the Fox into stone, then slaps Edmund] Think about who’s side you’re on, Edmund. Mine, or theirs [pointing at the now-stone-fox]. [To her wolves] Go on ahead. Gather the faithful. If it’s a war Aslan wants, it’s a war he shall get.
- 23. [Peter et al meet Aslan and explain why Edmund is missing. Beaver says, “He betrayed them, your Majesty.” Peter and Susan explain that it was “their fault” because “We were too hard on him.” Then Aslan talks to Peter, saying that he wants Peter to become Narnia’s king, and that he would try to rescue Edmund.]
- Aslan: This may be harder than you think.
- Peter: Aslan, I’m not who you all think I am.
- Aslan: Peter Pevensie, formerly of Finchley. Beaver also mentioned that you planned on turning him into a hat. [they chuckle] Peter, there is a Deep Magic, more powerful than any of us, that rules over all of Narnia. It defines right from wrong, and governs all our destinies. Yours and mine.
- 24. Ginarrbrik: [taunting Edmund, who has been tied to a tree and gagged] Is our little prince uncomfortable? Does he want his pillow fluffed? Special treatment for the special boy! Isn’t that what you wanted?
- 25. Maugrim [surprises Susan and Lucy]: Please don’t try to run. We’re tired…
- Wolf: …And we’d prefer to kill you quickly.
- [They blow Susan’s horn and climb a tree; Peter arrives, and faces Maugrim, holding a sword.]
- Maugrim: C’mon. We’ve been through this before. We both know you haven’t got it in you.
- [Aslan and others arrive, and Oreius is about to attack the wolves.]
- Aslan: No! Stay your weapons. This is Peter’s battle.
- Maugrim [to Peter]: You may think you’re a king, but you’re going to die like a dog!
Discussion (part 2):Teachers: You might try #7 and #8 before watching part 2 of the film. (You can also find additional discussion questions at the bottom of this post)
D7. This story starts in London, England, during World War 2. The city was bombed heavily. How would you feel if your city was being bombed? How would your parents feel? Did the parents who lived in London do the right thing by sending their children to the countryside?
D8. Put yourself in the children’s shoes. You know people “back home” will think you are lying or crazy if you tell about your adventure, so would you lie and say it didn’t happen (like Edmund) or tell people about Narnia (like Lucy)? Why?
D9. In Narnia there was a curse that made it always winter. How would you feel if it was always winter? What difference would it make to you if there was no Christmas or Spring Festival during the winter?
D10. According to the book this story came from, the children had different feelings when they first heard the name Aslan. Edmund felt mysterious horror. Peter felt brave. Susan felt as if she heard beautiful music. Lucy felt like it was the first day of summer vacation. What do these feelings reveal about their diverse personalities and virtues/sins? Choose a Narnia character (e.g., Aslan, the Queen, Mr Tumnus, the Beavers…) and tell your partner how you felt when you first met that character.
D11. At this point in the story, it is clear that Edmund was fooled by the White Witch’s beauty and generosity. (This is even clearer in the book.) But isn’t it normal to “trust” an important person when you first meet? Think about the first time you meet a teacher, roommate, colleague, boss, official…. Talk about the importance and the dangers of “trust” in modern life.
D12. Father Christmas gave gifts to the children in preparation for a battle–because he knew they would soon need them! What would you want him to give you? That is, what do you think you need to be better prepared to face the challenges ahead in your life?
Sentences/dialogs from the movie (part 3):
- 26. [The White Witch arrives to claim Edmund, whom she calls “the traitor”.]
- Aslan: His offence was not against you.
- White Witch: Have you forgotten the laws upon which Narnia was built?
- Aslan: [almost in a roar] Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written.
- White Witch: Then you’ll remember well that every traitor belongs to me. His blood is my property.
- Peter: Try to take him, then.
- White Witch: Do you really think that mere force will deny me my right, little king? Aslan knows that unless I have blood, as the law demands, all of Narnia will be overturned and perish in fire and water! That boy will die on the Stone Table as is tradition. [to Aslan] You dare not refuse me.
- [Aslan talks to the witch alone, agreeing to sacrifice himself to save Edmund—though the others don’t know this yet. As the witch starts to leave, she says…]
- White Witch: How do I know your promise will be kept?
- [Aslan simply roars in response.]
- 27. White Witch: You know, Aslan, I’m a little disappointed in you. Did you honestly think by all this that you could save the human traitor? You are giving me your life and saving no one. So much for love. [she turns to the evil crowd] Tonight, the Deep Magic will be appeased, but tomorrow, we will take Narnia forever! In that knowledge, despair… and die! [She stabs Aslan to death, and the crowd cheers.] The great cat is dead!
- 28. Peter: Aslan’s gone.
- Edmund: Then you’ll have to lead us. [pause] Peter, there’s an army out there, and it’s ready to follow you.
- Peter: I can’t.
- Edmund: Aslan believed you could. And so do I.
- 29. Gryphon: They come, your highness, in numbers and weapons far greater than our own.
- Oreius: Numbers do not win a battle.
- Peter: No… but I bet they help. [to Oreius right before battle] Are you with me?
- Oreius: To the death.
- Peter [about to charge into battle]: For Narnia and for Aslan!
———Stop reading here if you want to be surprised when you see the end of the movie!—————
- 30. Aslan [talking to Lucy and Susan at dawn]: If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the Deep Magic differently. That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, is killed in a traitor’s stead, the Stone Table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards.
- 31. Aslan [during the coronation ceremony, making Peter and his siblings kings and queens]: To the glistening Eastern Sea, I give you Queen Lucy the Valiant. To the great Western Wood, King Edmund the Just. To the radiant Southern Sun, Queen Susan the Gentle. And to the clear Northern Sky, I give you King Peter the Magnificent. Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen. May your wisdom grace us until the stars rain down from the heavens. [the crowd cheers]
- 32. [Tumnus and Lucy are watching Aslan walk on the beach, away from them, sad because they know he is leaving.]
- Mr. Tumnus: Don’t worry. We’ll see him again.
- Lucy: When?
- Mr. Tumnus: In time. One day he’ll be here and the next he won’t. But you mustn’t press him. After all, he’s not a tame lion.
- Lucy: No… but he is good.
- 33. [last lines]
- Professor Kirke: What were you all doing in the wardrobe?
- Peter: You wouldn’t believe us if we told you, sir.
- Professor Kirke: [As he tosses the cricket ball, which had been hit through the window, to Peter] Try me.
- [later—after the credits start—the Prof. is alone with Lucy, who is trying to use the wardrobe to re-enter Narnia]
- Professor Kirke: I don’t think you’ll get back in that way. You see… I’ve already tried.
- Lucy: Will we ever go back?
- Professor Kirke: Oh, I expect so. But it’ll probably happen when you’re not looking for it. All the same… best to keep your eyes open.
- [Aslan roars]
Discussion (part 3):Teachers: You might try #7 and #8 before watching part 2 of the film. (You can also find additional discussion questions at the bottom of this post)
D13. What was supposed to happen to Edmund according to “the deep magic” regarding traitors? (See dialog 26)
D14. We don’t know why the witch was “the Emperor’s executioner,” but almost all people agree that society needs rules, and needs someone who enforces those rules. But—like Edmund—we are not normally punished for all of our mistakes, poor judgments, and other “sins.” If someone else—like Aslan—willingly took your punishment so you could “go free,” how would that change your life? Talk about how it changed Edmund.
D15. Is the story of Narnia an allegory? An allegory is a story in which the characters and events are symbols that stand for truths about human life. Explain your answer.
D16. Let’s talk about Aslan. What are some of Aslan’s traits that you like the most? Is there anything about Aslan’s actions or personality that surprised you? What did Aslan do that you liked the most? Does he remind you of anyone (who you know, or from history)? Explain.
D17. Many people think that “the Kingdom of Heaven” is like Narnia—it is “another world” that people enter if they are open to “believing” in something supernatural. Do you believe in Heaven? Why or why not?
D18. Peter and Susan didn’t “believe in” Narnia until the professor showed them that “logically” it could exist. If you don’t believe in Heaven, what would it take to convince you that it was real?
D19. If you do believe in Heaven, what do you think the rules are for who gets to go there? Who is allowed to make those rules? Where can people find out about these rules? (For a story related to this question, read my article about Mindyburg.)
D20. In what ways does this story teach us about forgiveness (宽恕)? The Bible says that forgiveness is one of the most important things in life, because without it we cannot have healthy relationship on earth, nor can we go to Heaven. How important is forgiveness to you? Should Aslan, Peter, Susan and Lucy have forgiven Edmund? Why or why not?
Additional discussion questions:
- A1. When you first met Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy, Mr. Tumnus, and the White Witch, how did you feel about each of them? Did your feelings change about them as the story continued? Why? Which character is the most like/unlike you? Explain.
- A2. We can see a change in each character, from the beginning to the end of the story. Describe this change. How do you think your life would be different after an adventure like this?
- [Partial answer to A2, from the end of the book: These two Kings and two Queens governed Narnia well, and long and happy was their reign. They made good laws and kept the peace and saved good trees from being unnecessarily cut down. Peter became a tall and deep-chested man and a great warrior, and he was called King Peter the magnificent. Susan grew into a tall and gracious woman, and was called Susan the Gentle. Edmund was great in council and judgement; he was called Edmund the Just. As for Lucy, she was always happy and carefree, and her own people called her Lucy the Valiant (英勇).]
- A3. Tell your partner how you felt when you learned that Aslan had given his life in exchange for Edmund’s. How did you feel when Aslan was killed? How did you react when the Stone Table broke and Aslan came back to life? For thousands of years, many people (including the ancient Chinese, and those who wrote the Bible) believed that a perfect sacrifice could “buy” forgiveness, righteousness, and Heaven’s favor. In other words, they believed that love “poured out in sacrifice” could cover sin/evil. What do you think about this idea?
- A4. Lucy had a “pure heart” and found Narnia first; the others would say that Aslan directed them to find the entrance. Some people think Aslan is a lot like Jesus. According to the Bible, what are Jesus’ rules for who gets to live in heaven?
- Facts about the author. C.S. Lewis (鲁益师著1898-1963) was born in Belfast, Ireland, and was educated in England. He fought in World War I, and later became a distinguished professor at Oxford University (he wrote part of the Oxford Encyclopedia). He wrote children’s books as well as Christian literature. Another movie about his life is called Shadowlands. Prof. Lewis’ book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, is a fantasy story about talking animals that performed heroic deeds in an imaginary world. His first image of Narnia occurred at age 16, when he got the mental idea of “a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood.” He wrote the story for his Godchild, Lucy Barfield. (You become a Godparent when a friend asks you to sponsor his/her child’s baptism; many Godparents maintain close relationships with their Godchildren.)
- A5. Michael Fabian wrote: “It is clear that C.S. Lewis allowed his own faith experience to color his writing, as all great writers do.” Prof. Lewis was a devout Christian. What parallels can you see in this story to people or ideas from the Bible?
- A6. In 1955, a mother wrote to C.S. Lewis (the author), saying that Laurence (her 9 year-old) seemed to love the fictional character Aslan more than he loved the historical person Jesus. Here is Lewis’ reply to her: “Laurence can’t really love Aslan more than Jesus, even if he feels that’s what he is doing. For the things he loves Aslan for doing or saying are simply the things Jesus really did and said. So that when Laurence thinks he is loving Aslan, he is really loving Jesus: and perhaps loving Him more than he ever did before.” (source: Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead, eds. C.S. Lewis Letters to Children, New York, Scribner, 1996). Many Christians love the Narnia stories because there are things about Jesus that they didn’t recognize until they saw them in Aslan. What sort of things–i.e., how would you describe Aslan? If you know much about Jesus, how is he like Aslan?
- A7. What do you think of this quote from the story’s author? “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.” – C.S. Lewis
Extra information and activities
You’ll find two other pages about this Narnia story on EFL.success.com from Mr. Krigline’s book: Successful Writing for the Real World. Use the sample news articles to discuss what you learned about Narnia and the Narnia films. Learn about how to write a news article with “writing news articles.”
Some of the discussion questions were adapted from various websites; other sites can introduce more things about the story and it’s author:
- www.narnia.com/ www.narniaoutreach.com/freestudyguides.asp
- cslewis.drzeus.net/ www.arvadacenter.org/docs/Narnia_Study_Guide.pdf
- www.merelewis.com/ www.homeword.com/Freebies/Files/Narnia_Discussion_Guide.pdf
For a fun activity, think about your favorite story, parable or myth, and rewrite it as if it happened in Narnia. For example, you could tell the story of “the prodigal fawn” (like “the prodigal son” or “Mr Ye loves centaurs”–like 叶公好龙).
Here are some passages from the Bible you might find interesting, along with chapters in this story:
- Isaiah 52: 7-8 Chapter 8: “Wrong will be right when Aslan comes in sight”
- Mark 15: 16-39 Chapter 14: The Triumph of the Witch
- Mark 15: 40-42 Chapter 15: Deeper Magic From Before the Dawn of Time
- Romans 8: 18-23 Chapter 11: Aslan is Nearer
Rudy quiz answers: 1b, 2a, 3b, 4c, 5b, 6c, 7a, 8c, 9c, 10b
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