Paper - Comparison of mythological themes and movie themes

Paper - Comparison of mythological themes and movie themes...

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Jennifer Chinn T.A.: Jessica Rossknecht Section: Wednesday 8:00am The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Displaying numerous parallel themes and characters to what we have studied in Greek mythology, The Chronicles of Narnia reflects the ideas of childhood initiation, the Oedipal Complex, sacrifice, succession crisis, kleos, and social order versus social disorder. All of these themes serve to either delay or enhance the progress of the story’s hero, Peter Pevensie. This enchanting movie begins with four children who are being deported to safety away from a war back home. The Pevensies – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy – find themselves caught in the foreign world of Narnia, which exists in the back of a professor’s wardrobe, and are forced to quickly develop into maturity. Each child heavily relates to characters in Greek mythology; Peter is portrayed as the confused hero, Telemachus, Edmund as the dimwitted and gullible Epimetheus, Susan as a more hesitant, but wise Athena, and Lucy as the innocent and virginal Artemis. Imposing as the evil female temptress is the White Witch, or “the Queen of Narnia,” who is countered by Aslan, “the Great Lion,” and the all-powerful father figure of the movie. As in Greek childhood initiation, the child, or children in this case, must be separated from their home; in the movie, the Pevensie children are driven away by a terrible war and from their mother in London. It is apparent in their reluctance to leave their mother at the train station that none of the children are independent enough to care for themselves at this time. They soon arrive at the mansion of Professor Kirke, their temporary guardian who mysteriously keeps to himself, leaving the mansion grounds available for the children to roam freely. Immature and reckless, all four decide to play
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baseball in the backyard, when, suddenly, Edmund’s hit shatters a window, sending them running from the wrath of the professor and into the shelter of the wardrobe. Rather than diminishing the chaos, the children’s arrival in Narnia only causes more disorder. Thus, Peter is presented with his call to adventure that every young boy must commence with on his path to becoming a hero. The land of Narnia becomes the “liminal zone,” the second step of childhood initiation; an ambiguous, disorientating, and carefree place that serves to transition Peter into maturation and to broaden his mindset. As if transporting to another world in the back of a wardrobe wasn’t confusing enough, the Pevensies encounter mythical talking
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course CLASSICS 40 taught by Professor Erickson during the Fall '07 term at UCSB.

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Paper - Comparison of mythological themes and movie themes...

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