Saturday, May 17, 2008

More Thoughts on Caspian

The book, which, along with the others in the series, I have read every year since I was 8 (and I will not admit how many times that is...), is about the rise of atheism. What the film lacks is a deliberate confrontation between faith and atheism. Sure, there were little hints, like when Aslan tells Lucy that just because her friends lack faith doesn't mean...blah blah. But that's a lecture, and who wants a lecture in an adventure film. In the book, that lecture is personal advice during a very confessional moment. You must do what you think is right, even if others tell you that you are wrong. Period.

In the book, Miraz champions atheism, and Dr. Cornelius, who is the Narnian equivalent of a priest-living-in-hiding, is the teacher of the faith who saves Caspian from a faithless world. Miraz tells Caspian that he has been told fairy tales, and Caspian despairs; Cornelius tells Caspian the tales are true, and Caspian rejoices. Caspian is forced on a pilgrimage and finds the Truth, and the Truth, ultimately, defeats the faithless. We see none of that in the film, and that's a shame. The rise of faith, and of the faithful, is the real story in Prince Caspian.


Julie said...

That is a fascinating take, Macbeth. That explains the teacher in the public school-style classroom who was liberated at the end.

I guess that theme just struck a little too close to home for comfort.

Ian said...

I wouldn't have expected much more from the producers and directors. Douglas Gresham said in his book Lenten Lands that CS Lewis was Anglican just because it was the closest church - as if Lewis' theology was based on a whim. He also said during an interview I heard that you can get whatever religious significance you want to out of the books you want and that there wasn't a specifically Christian theme to them.

MacBeth Derham said...

Goodness, Ian...makes you wonder if Gresham ever read any other books Lewis wrote...So the producers and directors don't "get it," and Gresham is basically saying "whatever." Then, perhaps, it is only by God's grace that any good message comes of the film. Well, as my grandmother always said, the best way to ruin a book is to make a movie of it.