What Happens in Narnia Does not Stay in Narnia
We have all heard phrase, “What happens in the jungle stays in the jungle,” or some variation of it. It can be a good way to dodge questions about your trip, or a quick way to tell people what happened without actually telling them what happened. It is common to hear this phrase in movies, and sometimes you may read it in a book. Many times this is a fun way to end a story, it leaves mystery. But what would happen if we actually talked about our “jungle” experiences, not necessarily in great detail, just what we learned. Why does it have to be a secret, never to be talked about again? A great example of this is in The Chronicles of Narnia. What the Pevensie children learned in Narnia was meant to be lived out, meant to be talked about, meant to be remembered. In fact, this was the reason that Aslan brought the children to Narnia.
The story starts out with the children forced to evacuate London due to the bombings (this story takes place during WWII). Now on their own the children are forced to live without parental guidance. Each one reacts to it differently; Peter (the oldest) is just learning how to be the man of the house, since their father is fighting in the war. Susan (the second oldest) does not know how to believe in anything that cannot be seen and/or explained. Edmund (the second youngest) is forced to grow up. And Lucy (the youngest) learns the danger of comparison.
In the beginning of this story we see that Peter is the man of the house, since their father is away at war. However, Peter does not really walk in it. This was not because he did not care, he just did not have the confidence. So Susan ended up taking on a lot of that responsibility, and when Peter tried to help, it was not always the best approach, especially with Edmund. Peter usually scolded his brother in hopes that he would change, but that did not work, because Edmund needed Peter to be a brother. This is what Peter’s first trip to Narnia was all about, having the confidence to be there for somebody when they are struggling. All those years as a king really helped it to sink in, although, perhaps a little too well.
After returning from his first trip to Narnia, Peter’s new confidence made it difficult for him to return to life as a teenager. As a king of Narnia, Peter’s thoughts, opinions and ideas were taken very seriously. But in England, Peter was barely considered a man, so his thoughts, opinions, and ideas were not really even heard. Also, since Peter spent several years as a king, the adjustment back was very hard, so naturally he wanted to go back to Narnia. He did get to go back, but this trip was not what he expected. Peter thought that when he returned to Narnia that he would go back to being king, and all would be well in his world again. Wrong. Not only was he no longer a king there, he was supposed to help another young man (Caspian) become king. (That must have been awkward) Peter knew that helping Caspian regain the kingdom meant that he was letting go of his own, and that was a hard decision for him. Peter fought it for a while, but eventually, with the help of Lucy and Aslan, he realized that he was being selfish, and that this was the lesson Aslan brought him to Narnia to learn. When Peter returned from Narnia for the last time, he had a new perspective on life. His head was still high, but he was no longer looking down on everybody else, he was now looking at them.
Although it is good that Peter learned this lesson, it really would have benefited Edmund if he had learned it sooner. Early on we see that Edmund was fond of mischief. This probably has something to do with the fact that their father was away at war, forcing Peter to be the father figure in his life (that did not work so well). My guess is that since Edmund was one of the middle...
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