Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Aslan's Promise

In the last chapter of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Edmund, Lucy, and Eustace discover that they must journey back into the real world, that they must cross over from the “world’s end” of the Narnian world back into Aunt Alberta’s Cambridge home. Aslan claims that in them making this journey, they can never return to Narnia, that they are too old for Narnia and must experience their own world. However, Aslan puts forth the promise that they will seek him in their own world (the world outside of Narnia) and find him in a different form: “‘But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there’” (Lewis 270). Although Aslan’s form in the “real” world is left unclear, once can deduce that his form represents something that the children must learn to or already believe in. Whether Aslan is a representation of God or another religion or any kind of belief, he represents something important that ultimately requires in the believer the imaginative power.

The children can no longer access Narnia but they are not too old to learn how to believe in reality, or how to access in the real world sources of spirituality and individual power. It may seem as if the end of Narnia is the end of the use of their imagination but really it is another door to be opened, a further step into life’s journey and into the broadening of their imagination to include the ability to possess hope and belief. Aslan promises this sense of hope in promising always himself to them, as if he embodies their imaginative powers and their beliefs and will never cease to support them.

In terms of travel, the children make great progress in that they physically move from childhood to adulthood and mentally and emotionally move from disbelief to the possession of the power to create and hope. For Edmund and Lucy (and even Eustace), childhood may have seemed like the most fascinating adventure of their lives but Aslan’s promise proves that they will seek and find future journeys, journeys even more exciting in that they will exist within the walls of reality.

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