Thursday, December 01, 2005

Kids Get the Deeper Symbolism of Narnia

One of the strongest entertainment draws for the teenagers this Christmas season is the The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe, a movie based on C.S. Lewis’s venerated novel. By nearly all accounts, this interpretation is engaging and riveting, so it’s not surprising that some teenagers see it first with a friend or their family and then again with a whole posse of friends or their youth group.

Besides compelling action and captivating special effects, why do teens like this movie? When I asked a group who had just seen the movie, on theme emerged that pointedly communicated that teens “get” the symbolic undercurrent of the plot, “the deeper magic” of Narnia, which is the pre-existent plan for a sacrificial death inspired by timeless, unfathomable love.

Laura Hapner, seventh grade, said her favorite scene was the death scene because “Aslan was mocked, tormented and finally killed just to save the one who was really guilty, which reminded me of Jesus’ crucifixion, and it almost made me cry.”

Mason Haskett had been waiting for months for the premiere, and he was not disappointed. “Besides being a really great movie, it showed what humans are really like in the character of Edmund. I could relate to him. We have all done wrong just like Edmund.”

Senior Seth Kirby enjoyed when Aslan crested a hill, resounding a commanding, impassioned roar, signaling his eminent victory. “It gave me goose bumps because I related it to when Jesus Christ will return to earth someday in all his power and glory.”

Lauren Davis, ninth grade, and 000000 000000, eighth grade, both cited the resurrection scene as the most moving because of biblical similarities.

In short, sacrificial death, resurrection and triumph of the virtuous spoke to all of these teenagers.

Adults should never underestimate the creativity or the emotional and spiritual depth of teenagers. After all, C.S. Lewis was merely sixteen when he had a dream about a faun holding a parcel in a snowy forest.

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