Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia - What's the meaning of the wardrobe?

Diana and I went to see Narnia last night. Fun movie, fitting for the season of life in which we find our ministry. Aslan's on the move, and the ice is beginning to thaw! One question I've always wondered about the book, and now the movie: Why a wardrobe? The lion, the witch, the sacrifice and resurrection, turkish delight, winter, even four sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, those metaphors are fairly straightforward. But why did C.S. Lewis present the portal to Narnia as a wardrobe? He's too smart a guy and too clever a writer not to have had some meaning in his chosen point of entry. Last night I had an idea. Could the wardrobe in the context of the larger story be a reference to the idea that childlike faith allows us to exchange our filthy rags of self-righteousness for robes of divine righteousness? See, for example, Isaiah 64:6 ("all our righteous acts are like filthy rags"); Colossians 3:12 ("Therefore ... clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience"); Luke 15:22 (The father's response to the prodigal: "Bring the best robe and put it on him"). What do you think?

4 Comments:

At 12/20/2005 02:10:00 PM, Blogger Hip-Hope Sparrow said...

The Wardrobe

Rendered "mantle" in (1 Samuel 15:27; 28:14; Ezra 9:3,5) etc. This word is in other passages of the Authorized Version rendered "coat," "cloak" and "robe."

Heb. me'il, frequently applied to the "robe of the ephod" (Exodus 28:4,31; Leviticus 8:7), which was a splendid under tunic wholly of blue, reaching to below the knees. It was woven without seam, and was put on by being drawn over the head. It was worn not only by priests but by kings (1 Samuel 24:4), prophets (15:27), and rich men (Job 1:20; 2:12). This was the "little coat" which Samuel's mother brought to him from year to year to Shiloh (1 Samuel 2:19), a miniature of the official priestly robe.

"Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt" (1 Samuel 18:4):

To receive any part of the dress which had been worn by a sovereign, or his eldest son and heir, is deemed, in the East, the highest honor which can be conferred on a subject.

 
At 12/21/2005 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Kruse said...

It's just a closet. Like the one C.S Lewis grandmother had in her attic or something.

 
At 12/21/2005 08:50:00 PM, Anonymous Matt said...

This is from the "How Narnia Works" article at howstuffworks.com:

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During World War II, many children were evacuated from London because of air raids. Some of these children stayed with Lewis at his home in Oxford. One child was fascinated with an old wardrobe he found there, and he asked Lewis what was behind it and whether there was a way out through the back. This real event from Lewis' life, as well as the children themselves, gave him an idea that eventually grew into "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."
http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/narnia.htm
==============================

I know you were looking for metaphor, and that probably doesn't help. In regards to the storyline, Lewis brings some elements of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, like why the wardrobe is the portal into Narnia, into the prequel- The Magician's Nephew. Hope this helps.

 
At 12/29/2008 12:16:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though it probably came to his thought just as Matt quotes, Lewis probably found a rich affinity for the idea as it parallels Jesus' instruction for how to pray. "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet and shut the door. Then pray to thy Father in secret...." Lucy, whose character is fiercely pure, discovers and begins to explore a whole new world which was there all along, as a result of entering the wardrobe and shutting the door.

 

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