C. S. LEWIS
The Silver Chair
1. What is the setting of this story? Where does the story begin in Chap. 1? What is the school called? Which books were not encouraged at that school? What did Jill and Eustace have in common? How do they attempt to get into Narnia? How does Jill cause trouble on the cliff?
2. Lewis compares Aslan to the lion statues in Londons Trafalgar Square. There are some wonderful pictures posted on the Internet (see: http://www.photoguide.to/london/trafalgarsquare.html). The lions faces are huge and majestic. How does Jill feel about the lion when she wants to take a drink? Is the lion harsh or cruel? Compare what Aslan says to Jill with Isaiah 55:1 and with Jesus words about water to the woman of Samaria in John 4:7-15. What does Jill admit to Aslan, and then what task does He give to her? What four signs is Jill commanded to remember?
3. In Chap. 3 the castle is described as many-turreted. What does turreted mean? The owl, Master Glimfeather, reveals where they are located inside of Narnia. Where is it? It had been less than a year since Eustace had traveled with Caspian on the Dawn Treader. How many Narnian years does Eustace estimate to have passed since then?
4. Why do the owls call a parliament? Are they loyal to the true king? What are they afraid will happen to Jill and Eustace? Why has the old king sailed off for Terebinthia? What do the children learn from Glimfeather about the lost prince and the great, green serpent? The serpent is a symbol for the devil in the Bible (cf. Gen. 3:13; Rev. 20:2). What is it about snakes that make them such a good symbol for evil? What do the owls think has happened to the prince? Do they think hes been killed? Why?
5. How would you describe a Marsh-wiggle? What earthly creature would you compare it with? Does Puddleglums name seem appropriate? Why? How would you describe his personality? Would you like to have him as a friend? Do you know anyone like him? Do you think he will make a good companion?
6. In Chap. 6 we get to hear Jill pondering about giants. Where did she think all the stories about giants came from? What first convinces her that the supposed rocks were in fact real giants? What game are the giants playing (basically just throwing something at a target)? That night the wiggle and the children bivouacked. What does that mean? Who do they meet the next day? Is there anything suspicious about them? What? What does the lady promise they will find at Harfang?
7. Jill has a rough time when they try to explore the trenches of the ruined city. When she pretends to explore around a dark corner, Eustace can tell that she funked it (i.e. shrunk in fear and failed to what she said). What had caused Jills fear? What mistake did Jill make about the signs? Why? Who alone voted against giving up the search? What does the Porter call Puddleglum?
8. What motivates the Queen to offer Jill possets and comfits and caraways (a hot, sweet drink; a fruit candy; and a herbal medicine)? Describe Jills room. How big is it? The nurse calls Jill a poppet (small dolla term of affection). How big is the doll which the nurse brings Jill to play with? What does Aslan do when Jill realizes that she has forgotten all the signs in her dream? What does she see when she looks out the window the next morning? What plan do they make to escape?
C. S. LEWIS
The Silver Chair
9. Lewis uses the expression made love for the way Jill acted so sweetly and affectionately toward the Giantsto fool them and put them off their guard. What horrifying events at lunch time convinced them that they must get away from Harfang immediately?
10. What is the mantra (short saying recited often as a kind of password) in Underland? Can you see any connection between that saying and the words of Jesus in Matt. 7:13? How big is the cave? What else do they discover on the shore of the underground lake? Where does the Warden of Underland take them? What is the name of the sentry? When the Black Night at first laughs at their quest and interprets the writing under me as an accident of nature, how does Puddleglum respond? What does this reveal about Puddleglum?
11. How long had Prince Rilian been held in the power of the evil enchantment? Which member of the group can smell danger in the air? How do they first recognize that this must be Rilian? What is the first thing Rilian does with his sword?
12. Chap. 12 is one of the best chapters in the book. The witchs arguments reflect the ideas of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the famous psychiatrist. Freud was an atheist and like the witch, he argued that our most deep-seated wishes about God and heaven are illusionsfalse beliefs. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) pointed out weaknesses and fallacies in Freud. For example, Lewis pointed out that many Biblical ideas are just the opposite of wish-fulfillment. We wish that the teachings about our sin and Gods judgment were not true! Lewis also pointed out that sinners have a deep-seated wish to get away from God, and to be left alone. In that way, Lewis argued, atheism may be even more of a wish-fulfillment than belief in God. Lewis argued that healthy desires usually point to real things which exist (like an appetite for food). How does Puddleglum overcome the witchs arguments here?
13. Gods judgment upon sin once took the form of a world-wide flood (Gen. 6-8). It is prophesied that Gods final judgment will involve a great fire (2 Pet. 3:10-13). How are both types of judgment used in Chap. 13? As they prepare to battle the Earthmen, what discovery encourages Rilian? How does Rilian prepare his troops for battle? What do Jill and Eustace do to prepare? Why is Rilian light-hearted?
14. What is the name of the captured gnome? Where does he want to go? What does he call the Witchs country? How does he describe the real gems of Bism? How are they different? Who in the group wants to accept Golgs invitation to visit Bism? Why?
15. What surprise meets Jill and the others when they finally reach the surface of Narnia?
16. Whom does Jill help to prepare breakfast? Who comes to care for Puddleglums burnt foot? Why do Centaurs eat such a big meal? How do Jill & Eustace get back home? When they stop for a while on the Mountain of Aslan, what do they witness taking place? Can you see any parallel with Luke 19:41 or Jn. 11:35? Where did the Head (principal) of Experiment House end up?