The ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ (Lewis) is a collection of seven stories about the land of Narnia which is a mythical land that exists in an alternate dimension. While each of the seven stories could stand on their own, the recurring theme in all of these stories is the battle of good and evil, which in itself is a feature of mythology. Mythology comes from the word ‘mythologia’ which means ‘storytelling’ or a ‘legendary lore’.
In many cultures, mythology is used to explain the beginning of things, however, in the ‘Narnia Chronicles’ (Lewis) such is not the case; but even so, major elements of mythology are still present this particular collection of tales. ‘Aslan’(Lewis) for instance, a main stay character in all of the seven stories, is an object of myth himself. In the ‘chronicles’ Aslan, whether given to Christian or other religious interpretations, represents and omnipotent deity who oversees and controls everything in Narnia.
This quality of this particular character is rooted in both Christian and Greek myth. Other mythological features to be noted in the ‘chronicles’ are the existence of magic, the participation of magical creatures, as in ‘Prince Caspian’(Lewis) and ‘The Silver Chair’(Lewis), as well as the other stories; the role that voyages play in the collection, such as in comparison to ‘The Odyssey’ and the ‘The Illiad’; and the existence of certain tasks and missions to be accomplished by the main characters. These features of myth are easily evident in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
(Lewis) Also to note are the details referring to natural phenomena like the role of the sun in the ‘chronicles’, the stars, and the sea, as would be noticed in the ‘Voyage of the Dawn Treader’. (Lewis) These features of the collection all point to the role of mythology in the writing of the ‘chronicles’, and while it’s writer claims that the meanings attached to the various details in the story are mere suppositions, it is obvious that these suppositions come from the different elements of mythology that are found in the collection.
The ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ (Lewis) is a collection that is given to various interpretations and the reason for this is the use of myth – as is normal in mythology, many elements may be interpreted in different ways depending on the culture of the reader and this particular feature is quite distinct in this collection by C. S. Lewis.
Lewis, C. S. The Chronicles of Narnia. Vol. 1. New York: Bantam, 2006.