Saturday, May 10, 2014

Team "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" !

I would recommend Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe because it was one of my favorite books as a kid, and after this course, I consider it my introduction to adventure literature. It would make a great addition to the syllabus as a fiction adventure story for many of the reasons Bethany touched on in her post about The Hobbit. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe provokes discussion about a whole other type of adventure characterized by talking animals and familial bonds, raising questions like, at what stage of life does adventure begin and end? In what ways do mountaineering teams function as families? I think we could have forgone one of the mountaineering books we read for a work of fantastical fiction to better answer the questions: What makes an adventure? What makes a good adventure narrative? From our lunchtime discussion at Janelle’s, it seems to me that adventure involves more intangible—than tangible—things like connection and emotion. For me, it is partly about gaining perspective and a sense of simplicity, and this novel, with its elements of fantasy, did that for me, so I think it would be interesting to have a discussion about the relationship between adventure and fantasy. This text would also give way to a discussion about how adventure occurs because the children in the text stumble upon their adventure rather than planning it like many great adventurers (must an adventure involve a plan of action?). Finally, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is in part, a story of good versus evil that would enable us to reflect on implicit portrayals of good versus evil in  other adventure narratives on the syllabus. Plus, it’s just fun to read books loved by kids. Going back to the whole simplicity thing, children appear to have a simpler or different perspective on life that is reflected in “children’s” books. 

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