Did you ever notice this hiding in your favorite books?
Posted June 28, 2016
There are some stories that never leave us, but what is it about them that continues to capture our hearts? In some of the most popular novels of all time, there is much more to the fascinating characters and magic that we may have never realized before.
As you might have already guessed, C.S. Lewis’s delightful children’s series, The Chronicles of Narnia has a multitude of Christian themes and references lingering in the magical land beyond the wardrobe. Particularly, in Lewis’s most famous novel, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Aslan, the majestic lion takes on the role of a Christ-like figure and suffers for Edmund’s poor choices in order to save the boy. In the end, Aslan is resurrected after his initial death at the hands of the White Witch, and she is destroyed in the end.
There are many allegories to Christianity throughout this series, and the plotlines of each novel parallel significant Christian belief such as the Creation, Christ’s Atonement and Resurrection, and the Last Judgment.
Despite their controversial status of promoting witchcraft and dismantling Christianity, J.K. Rowling has stated that the plot of the Harry Potter series is based on Christian morals. Themes of good conquering evil and life after death are explored as the boy wizard comes of age. The major theme throughout the books is how powerful an act of love can be. Harry Potter’s mother saved him through a selfless act of love that continues to protect her son throughout all seven novels. Harry Potter himself represents courage, love and hope. Despite his horrendous childhood, humble outlook, and every setback he faces, he still manages to hold onto hope and stand for what is right. Because of his mother’s influence, he too makes the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of his friends in the end.
Roald Dahl’s delightful story about a poor boy and his golden ticket has more than its fair share of Christian references. Each of the children Charlie visits the factory with is an allegory for a deadly sin. For example, Veruca Salt is spoiled and greedy, Violet Beauregarde ignores Willy Wonka’s warnings because of her pride and Augustus Gloop represents gluttony. Charlie himself commits a sin, but he is the only child to admit his faults and seek forgiveness, which in turn allows him to win the Chocolate Factory and live in paradise for the rest of his days. Not only does this book teach a valuable lesson about humility, but it is an enchanting tale that continues to capture the attention of children today.
Most everyone has heard the story of the little hobbit, Frodo, and his quest to destroy the One Ring. But surprisingly, many do not know how many Christian tones and beliefs Tolkien’s fantasy series rings true. Inside the fantastical world of Middle-Earth lies a vast amount of religious allegories and values. C.S. Lewis was heavily influenced to convert to Christianity from Tolkien’s own faith and work.
The Lord of the Rings covers subjects such as life after death and the deadliness of greed. He represents humility in the form of hobbits; Middle-Earth’s most underwhelming and small creatures. As with Christian beliefs, those with humility are able to withstand the One Ring’s influence more so than those with a vast amount of power.
Tolkien’s hobbits are tasked with the impossible: making a tedious journey to the other side of the world to destroy the One Ring, all while avoiding bloodthirsty creatures and treading risky roads.
For centuries, countless fairytales have captivated us all. Although most of the tales are much more gruesome and dark than the beloved Disney adaptations, there are many symbolic instances to take in.
Beloved characters from our most favorite fairytales find themselves in the midst of sin or turmoil, and through their journey they learn valuable lessons about the world. Snow White, who is quite literally the fairest of them all because of her goodness and innocence, is sometimes interpreted as a direct symbol of Eve, as they are both tempted by a forbidden fruit by someone with a wicked heart. Fairytales are full of religious luster and continue to dazzle us with their satisfying endings. Dig a little deeper and you will find many elements that mirror your own faith too.