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

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profhyde-white eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"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.

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