The Silver Chair
First Edition Dustjacket
"It was a dully autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym."
Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole seek shelter from bullies in their Experiment House school and, after stumbling through a door, find themselves in Aslan's country, not realizing that Aslan has called them there for a very special purpose.
Ten years ago after the death of his mother, Prince Caspian's son, Rillian, disappeared into the North without a trace. With Puddlegum, the pessimistic Marshwiggle as their guide and companion, Eustace and Jill set out to discover his fate. However, Jill missed some of the four signs that Aslan had given her and the adventurers wonder if their quest has not been made more difficult because of her oversights. Will they be able to save the heir of Narnia from the evil Emerald Witch, and even more importantly, what will they have learned by the end of their adventure?
Lewis makes me laugh with some of the symbolism he inserts into these tales for children. In one scene, the Witch attempts to enchant the children, striving to convince them that their world is only a dream and that her world is, in fact, the real thing. Bravely, Puddleglum, in desperation, stamps on the fire, hoping the resulting pain will break the spell. He declares even if they have imagined all the wonderful things of their world, he prefers them to the cold, dark, menacing world of the Witch, and he pledges to live as a Narnian even if Narnia does not exist. Puddleglum's curious statement echoes Blaise Pascal's famous wager that argues that even if God does not exist, to live by His precepts will ensure a better earthly life; what one would gain would be infinitely more valuable than what one would lose.
Puddleglum the Marshwiggle
This book is my least favourite of the Chronicles so far, but Lewis still manages to tell an engaging tale that keeps the reader interested and invested in the characters. Next up is The Horse and His Boy!
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