An Exploration into the Use of the Biblical Narrative of the Fall within the children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In this thesis, I explore the uses to which children’s authors C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman put the major biblical theme of the Fall (with passing commentary on Temptation, the precursor to the Fall) in their seminal children’s series The Chronicles of Narnia and the His Dark Materials trilogy. I argue that each author uses the subject of the Fall as a central theme in his series in order to inflect the dominant message of this biblical story (that humanity has fallen from perfection into sin) with their personal opinions on fundamental human questions concerning the nature of God, the difference between good and evil, and the metaphysical ‘rules’ that structure the universe and mankind’s place in it.1 In exploring these issues, I point out the ways in which Pullman and Lewis, in their drastically differing opinions as to the legitimacy of the worldview implicit in the original Bible story, are nevertheless both heavily dependant on the overwhelming influence that the Fall narrative has had on Western culture.