What are the main themes in the book The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis?

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The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis is a story of adventure and maturity set against backdrop of the creation of the fictional land of Narnia. The main themes in this novel are good vs. evil and the concepts of growth and maturity and taking on responsibility.


The first theme is very clear—Diggory’s uncle is a selfish and vain magician who accidentally brings a powerful and evil witch first into our world, and then into the virgin Narnia. Diggory and Polly have to follow Aslan’s instructions to prevent her from destroying that world and keep her from causing more damage.


A second theme is that of responsibility. Diggory is a young, playful child who spends most of his days exploring his attic prior to his arrival in Narnia. He is shy and cautious in general, never having accomplished much, and he shies away from worrisome situations, such as his ailing mother. At Aslan’s bidding, however, he takes a dangerous journey to this extreme North of Narnia and saves the day while providing for for his sickly mother in the process. He matures and comes to accept his responsibility through the events of the novel.

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"The Magician's Nephew" is a book in the series "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis. While it occurs chronologically first in the series some people prefer to read it sixth as a prequel to the first five books.

"The Magician's Nephew" centers around the story of the creation of the world of Narnia and sets the stage for the events that occur in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". The book "The Magician's Nephew" has often been cited as a parallel story-line to the beginning of the book of Genesis, in which a perfect world is created and then altered by the entrance of temptation and evil.

Temptation is a key theme in the book, as the main characters, Digory and Polly, face temptation in various situations and succeed and fail in overcoming it. This theme of temptation is based on an underlying theme of definitive good and evil, which in the book "The Magician's Nephew" is understood within the simplicity of the newly created realm of Narnia. Good and evil are separate and well-defined.

Another theme found in the book is the importance and impact of every individual's choices. Digory learns in the book that his choice to do good or to do evil impacts not only himself but the very world he lives in.

"The Magician's Nephew" is a tale that seems sweetly simplistic at first but upon deeper consideration contains profound truths about humanity illustrated through the fantastical world of Narnia.

An in-depth analysis of the book: "The Magician's Nephew" can be found here: http://www.enotes.com/topics/magicians-nephew

 

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