Friday, May 16, 2008

The Silver Chair

The middle book in the order of publication (and the order they should be read) is almost the best of the lot. (As this is a blog from a missional perspective, of course The Horse and His Boy is the best.) In the third direct sequel to Lion, we see an adversary on the par of the White Witch in the Lady of the Green Kirtle. She may even be the witch herself, back from the dead. We also get to see Aslan’s land for the first time. We get the English school with its bullies who get their comeuppance. We get the journey through the underworld. We get the “To Serve Human” moment at the Giant house. However, the Trump is—we get Puddleglum.

Puddleglum is a Marshwiggle, a frog/man race that are all terribly pessimistic. Puddleglum is harassed by the other Marshwiggles for being too cheerful, which from a human perspective is still pretty much a “wet blanket.” The thing that makes Puddleglum so loved is his courage and caring attitude that he hides behind his pessimistic front. In the climactic scene of the book the heroes are being hypnotized by the witch and they are nearly convinced that the real world is just a figment of their imaginations. Puddleglum resists the spell and bravely destroys the magic by stamping his foot into a fire (counteracting the affect of incense with that of burned Marshwiggle flesh.) As he does, he proclaims: “"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones."

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