The Magician's Nephew

by C. S. Lewis

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What is the exposition, rising action, falling action, and resolution of The Magician's Nephew?

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In The Magician's Nephew, the first novel (chronologically) in The Chronicles of Narnia series, the exposition begins with the introduction of Diggory and Polly and the background of Diggory's family woes. Diggory's mother is ill and his father is away in a foreign country, so he leads a sad life in England, in a row of connected houses adjacent to Polly's.

The rising action begins when they encounter Diggory's uncle, the mediocre magician who has successfully created rings that can travel to other worlds. Using them, the children travel to Chairn, a dying world and accidentally bring back its queen, Jadis, to Earth, and eventually into the virgin world of Narnia.

The conflict in the story occurs when Jadis escapes and steals a piece of fruit from the healing tree at the far North of Narnia, and Diggory and Polly must go gather that fruit for themselves and encounter her temptation.

After this, the falling action occurs once they have returned with the fruit and received Aslan's blessing and encouragement, finally returning home. The resolution of the story shows Diggory's life improving as his mother's health returns and his father comes home from overseas. Eventually they move to the countryside and Diggory and Polly remain friends, while Diggory eventually makes a wardrobe from the tree that had grown where he had buried the magical rings and Narnian fruit.

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In The Magician's Nephew, the first novel in the Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis uses a straightforward story arc. Chapter 1 provides the exposition in which the setting and characters are introduced. The time period is given in the first paragraph as "long ago when your grandfather was a child" and is further described in the second paragraph as when "Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street." The location is London in "a long row of houses which were all joined together." We then meet Polly Plummer and Digory Kirke, the two main characters. 

The rising action also begins in Chapter 1 when Uncle Andrew locks the children in his study. Polly touches one of the humming rings and disappears. The rising action then continues as Digory uses a ring and ends up where Polly is. They visit the world of Charn, where Digory rings the bell that awakens Queen Jadis. The action continues to rise as Jadis causes trouble in our world and in the newly created world of Narnia.

The climax occurs when Jadis tempts Digory to eat the apple and/or take it back to his mother. Digory's head suddenly clears, and he leaves the witch and returns to Aslan with the apple.

In the falling action, Aslan praises Digory for his obedience, King Frank and Queen Helen are crowned, and Aslan puts Uncle Andrew to sleep. A beautiful tree springs up that will be Narnia's shield. Digory confesses to Aslan how he was tempted, and Aslan lets Digory pluck an apple to take back to his mother.

The resolution occurs when Digory gives the apple...

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to his mother and she recovers. This resolves Digory's first problem in the story, which was his deep sorrow over his mother's terminal illness. Other loose ends are tied up as well, with Narnia experiencing hundreds of years of peace, Uncle Andrew giving up magic, and the tree that grew from Aslan's apple being made into a wardrobe--which becomes the way into Narnia in the second book.

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Exposition: Digory and Polly meet, explore the connected attics, and observe Digory's uncle experimenting with transporting himself to different worlds.

Rising Action: They ring the bell, wake Jadis, she enters into different worlds (namely new Narnia).

Climax: Digory is confronted with Aslan and a temptation from Jadis in order to help his sick mom.

Falling action and resolution: Digory passes the test and is rewarded by Aslan. The cab driver and his wife are made the first king and queen of Narnia, and Digory and Polly are sent back to London.

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