The Portrayal of Evil in C.S. Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap

Author: Johanna Wiklund; [2006]

Keywords: C.S Lewis; Evil;

Abstract:

Abstract

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia (there are seven books all together) are often perceived as children’s books that in a simple and uncomplicated way convey the positive message of Christianity. However, Lewis’s intention was as much to deal with negative moral issues such as selfishness, dishonesty, betrayal, cruelty, vindictiveness and hypocrisy, in other words: aspects of evil. The purpose of this essay is to examine C.S. Lewis’s portrayal of evil in the Chronicles of Narnia, in order to show the novel’s complexity. My main focus will be on one of the lesser known of the books, The Horse and His Boy.

I believe that Lewis through his books convey the complexity of live, but through a perspective which makes it easier for children to accept. All the ingredients of real life are included in the Chronicles, even the ugly side to life, namely evil. By displaying the phenomenon of evil in so many different ways in his books, I believe that Lewis is trying to show the complexity which lies in the workday world as well as in heaven and the world of fantasy. Lewis uses evil as an expression to encourage the moral imagination within the readers. I believe that he urges his readers to take a stand and see what evil is and what it does. Lewis demonstrates that good and evil is in each and every one of us, and that it is the choices we make that defines us.

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