The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

The Silver Chair by C. S. LewisThis is the 4th book in Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Continue to follow the adventures in the land where anything can happen! Check it out!

The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

If you find that justice and truth are necessary, that taking responsibility is an important issue in your life, and you are fond of large cats, this book is for you.

The novel is a fantasy tale that portrays religion, witchcraft, mystic realm quests, and ends up with revenge against bullies. Even, if you don’t find the concepts above important, I bet there’s something for you here.

(read the author’s mini-bio)

The Silver Chair Book Cover The Silver Chair
Chronicles of Narnia (Book 4)
C.S. Lewis
Fantasy, Children
HarperCollins
Reprint edition (March 5, 2002)
Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, 3D, Mass Market Paperback, Audible, Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged, Unknown Binding
272
This an adapted transfer from the original post on Books and Movies Reviews blog by Roberto Mattos
Pauline Baynes (Illustrator)
8 and up

Narrative models are not something that all writers use to structure their stories. As I have stated before, these models were not created, but, yet, were observed and organized by scholars with the objective of understanding an author's mind. They can be, and are, very useful as tools for creating stories, tho.

With that in mind, one should always be aware that we are not suggesting that this or that author used the models on their work. Rather, we are simply trying to fit the story into the model as a means of understanding the writer's mind.

I have experienced difficulty in that with C. S. Lewis before. His mind seems to work differently, and yet, brilliantly.

Elements of those models are present in his stories, but not in a conventional way; His plots are more complex.

If we think about that and the success of his books, we will conclude that children's stories, don't necessarily need to be simple and trapped in models.

 

Let's see what we can come up with:

 

Story Development

Act 1

In a very peculiar and unpleasant school called Experiment House, Jill Pole, is the object of the bullies.

Eustace Scrubb asks for Aslan’s help when trying to escape with her from bullies at their school.

 

Trigger

They reach a gate that leads them into Aslan’s Country, but away from each other.

Aslan appears and blows Eustace to Narnia.

He reaches Jill and says that she must help Eustace find Prince Rilian, and supplies Jill with four signs that will guide them in their mission. Then he also blows Jill into Narnia, and she arrives moments after Eustace.

 

Act 2

They see the old King Caspian, Prince Rilians’ father, preparing to sail east to search for Aslan. The Lord Regent, Trumpkin, gives Eustace and Jill room in Cair Paravel. Over there, they meet Glimfeatherm and some owls that help them, explaining that Rilian disappeared while looking for a green serpent that killed his mother and now he is under a spell from the Green Witch.

Jill and Eustace travel towards the North of Narnia with Puddleglum, a Marsh-wiggle.

They enter into the land of the giants. After many trials, wandering through the land of the giants, they find the Lady of the Green Kirtle and a silent knight in black. She tells them to go to a castle belonging to the Gentle Giants.

Those giants give Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum a warm welcome but in fact, the Titans are planning to eat them at the Autumn Feast.
They escape and go to a nearby cave and slide down a slope into the Underland, under the ruins of the old giant city.

Once there, deep underground, they are found by gnomes, whose leader force the trio to follow them.
They cross the Sunless Sea into the city ruled by the Lady of the Green Kirtle, who is not there. She is no other than the Green Witch. They also meet her protegé, the black knight.

Mid-Point

Her young protégé treats them pleasantly but seems to be disturbed. The black knight suffers from nightly psychotic episodes and needs to be tied to a silver chair to protect everyone around him.

While he is having one of those mental fits, he asks them to release him in the name of Aslan.

That was the fourth and last sign that Aslan had given to Jill for helping their quest, so they release the young man that reveals himself to be Prince Rilian.

 

Act 3

The Green Witch returns and tries to bewitch them all,

 

CLIMAX

Puddleglum breaks her spell, and she transforms herself into a green serpent. Prince Rilian recognizes the reptile as the same one that killed his mother. He kills the snake and leads the travelers in their escape from the Underworld.

 

Act 4

spoilers

The gnomes are also free from the witch’s spell and show them a route upward out of the Underworld. Prince Rilian returns to Cair Paravel where his old father meets him just before dying.

Aslan appears and congratulates Eustace and Jill. Aslan revives King Caspian.

 

Additional Ending

Returning the kids to their world, Caspian goes (rejuvenated) with them, and helps to frighten the school bullies away. The bullies also saw Aslan and run back to the school in terror. Aslan and Caspian return to Aslan’s Country and Eustace and Jill change clothes and go back to their school.

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2 thoughts on “The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

  • 2016-09-24 at 1:22 pm
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    Frankly speaking, I love the Chronicles of Narnia. I have the entire set at home and I read it again and again whenever I have the time. I’m also intending to pass them on to my children one day.

    However, there’s only one thing about this series that I find a bit unsettling, that’s how Aslan actually greatly resembles Jesus in Christianity. As a Buddhist reading this series at a very young age (8 or 9 years old I can’t really remember) I find myself very affected by the idea of a ‘Supreme Being’ even after tens of years have passed.

    Personally, I think that it should be pointed out to anyone who hasn’t gotten their hand on this series to know about the Christian allegory hidden in the books. After all, it may ‘secretly’ affect the thoughts of the readers. What is your stance on this?

    Reply
    • 2016-09-28 at 11:46 am
      Permalink

      Hello, Rachel,

      I agree that the Christian influence is very present as mentioned on this review:

      The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe review

      On the other hand, I don’t see fiction being powerful enough to turn the heads of readers towards a line of thinking. I suppose kids only see it as fun and entertainment. It’s just fiction. And the concepts of fiction, imagination, creativity, and fantasy should be explained to children as they grow up and start learning to read.

      Besides, no book is free from some sort of cultural influence. And every religion is a cultural asset, even when it’s not the one we follow.

      Our society has many more hidden powerful and nasty strategic ways of influencing people towards something we, parents, would prefer them not to see.

      Anyway, that concern is very present nowadays and I use a very simple example to try to ease parents’ concerns.

      We don’t often see kids jumping from their bedroom windows after they read a Superman comic book. I suppose it may happen eventually, but I could bet the problem is would not be the comic.

      The great thing about reading, and specially reading fiction is that it opens our minds to new worlds and their options. Kids have their ways of making up their minds about things.

      Wow, that came out much larger than I intended! Cheers!

      Reply

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