Abby Stahl – Big Project Part 1 – Text Selection


The Text I Chose Is – “The Chronicles of Narnia” series

By: C. S. Lewis

“The Chronicles of Narnia” is a seen book series written by Clive Staples Lewis starting in 1950 with “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”. It follows stories and events of a magical land and its interactions between both people from outside the world and from within. Its main message told throughout the course of the seven separate novels is that of doing the right and moral thing, preaching the necessity of family, friends and loyalty, and most of all heroism in its many forms. As for its prevalence in the Canon, it is considered one of the classics of literature, though its more prevalent on the list of children’s classics, and it is on the reading list for many English classes in schools throughout the west and on the book shelves of many children’s rooms.

Though it’s main audience is children “The Chronicles of Narnia” also appeal to a wide range of ages, demographics and backgrounds not only for its adventurous and magical storytelling but also for its deeper meanings, symbolisms, themes and classical allusions. It’s these deeper meanings, that I would like to explore throughout the project as well as the meanings effects on both the text and the readers. I read the first two novels in sixth grade and grew up with the stories overall and since then I’ve been fascinated with the many and many deeper messages and morals the series seems to teach, so when confronted with this project the series came to my mind simply because it gave me a chance to look at the fundamental judgments of what’s right and wrong that it passes to its readers and how those lessons seem echoed in our society as well. When looking up the text in the MLA Database, here at the College of Charleston I was meet with two hundred and twenty-two results upon first search alone. Then I found seven thousand four hundred and ninety results when checking with Google Scholar. Many of these results supported my opinions on the deeper layers that exist below the surface of this twentieth century fairy tale.

Feb 9: Nature

Near the beginning of the chapter the authors state on page 231 a line they pulled out of “Environment and Social Theory” that reads “So in the end, the concept of nature can work to remove or separate humanity from the nonhuman or natural order, or it can bring them together in a kind of organic unity.” (Theory Toolbox) Both of these possibilities are brought up and discussed throughout the chapter so what did you interpret the authors opinion on these to be? Did you interpret one idea to be thought of as better than the other by the authors? Did you interpret a need for a balanced existence of both? How do you think this idea would link back to English when referring to popular theme of Man vs. Nature that is often found in literature, which is a debate that the authors came close to by mentioning other works of literature throughout the chapter?

Feb 7: Posts

In the chapter about Posts the authors state “There seems to be a certain sense of style shared by many of the things labeled “postmodern” a sense of disjunction or deliberate confusion, irony, playfulness, reflexivity, a kind of cool detachment, a deliberated foregrounding of constructedness, a suspicion concerning neat or easy conclusions.” (Theory Toolbox pg.140) What do you take away from this? Why does the idea of postmodern come with “a suspicion concerning neat or easy conclusions”? What is an example of postmodern that you used personally to help clarify this idea while you were reading and what sense of style do you think your example showed?