Sometimes, it hurts my heart when a book is challenged or banned. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is one of those times. Underneath the deeper, allegorical side to this novel, there lies a beautiful fantasy story that will literally open up worlds for children. Of the banned books over the years, I desperately hate the fact that this is one of them. I feel the censorship of this story hides imagination and friends that readers will never find anywhere else.
“Narnia… the land beyond the wardrobe, the secret country known only to Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy…the place where the adventure begins.
Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first, no one believes her when she tells of her adventures in the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund and then Peter and Susan discover the Magic and meet Aslan, the Great Lion, for themselves. In the blink of an eye, their lives are changed forever”
source – book jacket
Why It’s Been Banned
* possibe spoilers
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was banned in 1990 for depicting graphic violence, mysticism, and gore. And in 2005, when Jed Bush picked it for a required reading book in Florida, and the novel was viewed as not politically correct for school reading. In fact, it was deemed “unconstitutional” by the Americans for the Separation of Church and State because Aslan can be interpreted as a Christ-like figure and offensive to non-Christians.
My mother read this novel to me as a young child, and we even had the BBC TV mini-series version where people actually dressed up like wolves. I loved the story so much I wore out the VHS. Because I grew up in a church, my mom pointed out the allegorical side of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when we read it… but as a child, all I did was search for the wardrobe. In fact, I was convinced my closet would take me to Narnia. I can understand the issue between church and state for some people, but honestly, this story can be as much of a story as it can be analyzed and ripped apart in symbolism. Narnia opened up worlds for me as a child, and I would not have the imagination I do today would it not be for this series. I reread the Chronicles of Narnia two summers ago, and it wasn’t until then, when I was 23, that I really saw the deep symbolism of the stories. This is a book that can be taught to inspire the imagination without ever having to analyze themes for children.
If you like The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe you might like….
- The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis: The Magician’s Nephew, The Horse and his Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Last Battle
- The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
- The Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
Book Talk: Where do you stand with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe ban? Do you think it’s tame enough for a middle school classroom or too scandalous? Have you read the rest of the series? Just as good or better? Should they be banned?