Friday, August 19, 2011

"The final shock"

Its not a coincidence that I came early today morning and started writing this post. Infact I have not been able to sleep properly for some days and my insomnia was at its peak last night. I didn't sleep at all. Whenever such a thing happens , I come to the institute by the first or second bus and eat breakfast! But why is my insomnia related to my post? The answer is as follows:


The answer lies in "The chronicles of Narnia". Why should a children's book be the motivation behind my post? The simple answer is that the final book in the series gave me a shock. As such the series is very nice and even as a grown up, I likedthe books very much. In between I couldn't help drawing analogies between HP and Narnia, but let me leave JKR for the time being, since I'm a great fan of HP and if at all she has drawn inspiration from the chronicles, she has done a very good job on her own by creating HP and its magic world.

But Narnia is entirely different and C S Lewis had really created a beautiful world! During the course of my reading the books, I happened to read the severe criticism the author was subjected to in the name of sexism and racism and other things. [I'm not going into the details of all that. Anybody interested can google it.] Ok. Fine. I thought. I could forgive the author, for all those accusations because of the simple beauty of the world called Narnia. Land of talking beasts, and all sorts of magical creatures and great kings and queens, Narnia is sure to stay long in your imagination. But. The author himself has washed out all these in the last and final book in the series! It got an award and in many ways it exudes ideas, but the last page of the book was simply unacceptable for me.

This is the book in which Narnia ends and where the last battle to occur there is fought before the end and 7 of the main characters return and that too together. It speaks about a Narnia within Narnia and "further in, further up" which reminded me of a fractal. Fractal Narnia! And by the end of the book I was shedding tears of happiness at seeing Reepicheep the mouse again, and Caspian; and so on and all friends were united. But suddenly Lucy sees the destroyed house in England and it is said that it's England within England! Lucy being sad at going back, leaving Narnia behind is told, how they had arrived there (for in the fifth book it is said that they couldn't return to Narnia;). They had boarded a train in England and that train had crashed and in the "shadow world" of Earth, they all (all seven + the parents of Lucy, Edmund and Peter) were dead and the real Narnia was where they were now! This is one thing which I couldn't digest at all!

After writing such beautiful books, how could the author write a very shocking end by killing his own characters? He might have justified it as reuniting everybody worthy of being in Narnia and all that! But why kill them? ANd leave Susan behind as an orphan? Atleast he could have spared their parents! Probably the Scrubbs would have taken care of her later, for he killed Eustace also. And why have all those nice characters be killed in the end? Is Earth such a bad place to live? Afterall ,all of Narnia is modelled after earth only! Then why did his home land and his own planet become so unacceptable to the author?

 There were times when I wanted to curse JKR for killing Sirus, Dumbledore, Snape and especially Fred (I still believe that she could have avoided killing Fred) in Harry Potter novels. But all those killings had a reason behind them. But the murders by C S Lewis defy all reason! The children could have beeb sent back and could have lived full life on Earth and come back! Why kill all of them in a train crash? I seriously suspect he was a saddist! If I really met C S Lewis I would have gone and slapped him right away (C S Lewis pls forgive me) for this sort of an ending to the series. I appreciate JKR in one thing. By killing all those characters, she has taught the reader to accept life and death as such. But on the other hand, C S Lewis has done his job to make children believe in things like you know, life after death. I would prefer an Arthur C Clark sort of end of the world, rather than a C S Lewis sort of end of the world.

There's one more reason why I couldn't digest this ending. My simple Physics oriented mind doesn't allow me to believe in a place where people accumulate after being created; i.e the paradise , which he defines as real Narnia in the end is a place where, good people over the ages come together and . The whole idea of paradise where people come to but never leave defies laws of thermodynamics. {If I've written something wrong, Physics people pls forgive me.} And he says that Aslan told all that the term had ended and the holidays had begun since they were all dead in England! This is completely misleading especially to make Aslan say something like that! One should never write such things in a children's book, which will lead them to believe irrational things. Again , I appreciate JKR for not raising the dead by magic.

In the end it is said that all the chapters which followed were the real ones and each was better than the other and whatever was written in the seven books were nothing! How boring it will be to live on and on and on! Again I 've to tell this, JKR never made Dumbledore or Nicolas Flemel live for ever! If you read it this way, her novels are meant to oppose the idea of living forever. Correct! You can live long, but not forever. Even a proton decays after 10^32 years! Let me come back to C S Lewis. On the whole, in the last page of "The last battle" he has spoiled his own beautiful works. One should never have ended the chronicles in such a low standard way. Its extremely pathetic to sit and love other worlds, if you are not ready to accept your own existance on this planet as a normal human being. C S Lewis, you shouldn't have made Aslan speak as you made him do in the last page of "The last battle".

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