Love is an intricate human expression which can not simply be explained through logic, science or mathematics. It is a unique virtue, dominantly possessed by humans instead of other living creatures. Love has been immensely reviewed through the age of literature. It is a simple concept which branches into all sectors of life; whether that means love of a person, love of beauty etc. However, in the opinions of billions perhaps the most significant type of love is the divine. For approximately 2.4 billion Christians around the globe, God, is the greatest example of affection. The sacrifice on the cross, the promise of eternity, the construction in the likeness of himself or the unfathomable nature of his forgiveness are prime examples of God’s love. Due to Christianity being a prime source of purpose and inspiration throughout the centuries since Jesus’ crucifixion, authors of great literary works have held the ideologies of Christianity, mainly Christ’s sacrifice, as a central theme in their writings.
C.S. Lewis was a British author, who held honourable position for literature at both Oxford and Cambridge university. More importantly he was a distinguished advocate for Christian theology, doctrine and the existence of God. He famously states, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” One of C.S. Lewis’ most riveting works has said to be: The chronicles of Narnia. In these texts the author expresses the core fundamentals of Christian dogma. The Judeo-Christian aspect of forgiveness, sacrifice and divine love- which transcends all fathomable human intellect, is deeply enrooted in the characters. Aslan is the central figure in the Narnia collection, many critics have claimed that Aslan is an embodiment of the Christian trinitarian concept. The three ways in which he is portrayed that correlate with aspects of the trinity are: firstly, as the key authoritative character in the land of Narnia (key connection with lions as the king of the jungle). Secondly there is an essence of spirituality which roams the mystical land of Narnia, Aslan has a method of inspiring through utilising the non-physical realm. Finally, he is portrayed as a loving character, who has direct similarities with the historical figure of Jesus. The sacrifice on the cross for humanity’s sin compared to the sacrifice on the stone table. The charismatic nature of the messiah resembles the moving persona of the lion. Notably both characters showcase their love to save others; those who have been manipulated by evil. Jesus wishes to liberate humans from Lucifer and Aslan hopes to retrieve Narnians from the Witch’s autocratic rule.
Extracts from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
“And now who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased. But when you are dead what will prevent me from killing him as well? And who will take him out of my hand then? Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his. In that knowledge, despair and die.”
The children did not see the actual moment of the killing. They couldn’t bear to look and had covered their eyes.
“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the witch knew the Deep Magic, there isa magic deeper still which she did not know: Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the table would crakc and Death itself would start working backwards. And now -”
“Oh yes. Now?” said Lucy, jumping up and clapping her hands.
“Oh, children,” said the Lion, “I feel my strength coming back to me. Oh, children, catch me if you can!”
These two extracts are from moments leading up to Aslan’s sacrifice and then at the time of his resurrection. The monumental words in the second extract echo a deep message of life over death and good over evil. “when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and death itself would start working backwards.” These sentiments enable the reader to identify a different philosophy of life. A Christian attitude to life which teaches to love as God loves. A sacrifice which transcends all thinking and ensures eternal blissfulness and all one must do to achieve this promise is to Love.