… we’re left with A Brief History of Time, yet another book suggesting that the island may exist outside the normal time stream of the rest of the world. The other books that suggest this are: A Wrinkle in Time, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” The Wizard of Oz, The Third Policeman, and Alice in Wonderland. When The Chronicles of Narnia appears I think the deal will be sealed.
For those who may not know, The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis is a seven-book series about the history of an alternate world called Narnia. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair form the main cycle in the series and together recount the adventures of a group of children who come to Narnia to save it. They are called to return time and again throughout the series, and it is their faith in the other world and its mysteries that guides and protects them.
The Magician’s Nephew tells of Narnia’s origins, The Horse and His Boy is a story of faith in the face of travail, and The Last Battle takes the reader through Narnia’s end times.
Narnia itself is ruled by a benevolent godlike being named Aslan who takes the form of a lion. Faith in Aslan is what The Chronicles are all about.
The books are steeped in Christian thought and tradition, and some of them are direct allegories: Lion, Witch, Wardrobe is the Gospel, Magician’s Nephew is Genesis, and Last Battle is Revelation. For my money, The Magician’s Nephew is the best one.
How does all this connect with Lost? Only through a name. The books have not appeared, but Season 4 brought scientist Charlotte Staples Lewis (CS Lewis) to the island. I suppose we could consider this a reference to any of Lewis’s work, but Narnia seems like the best candidate.
The world of Narnia is like Lost island in many ways. Not the least of which is the fact that the island exists in a time stream apart from ours. I’m especially interested in the fact that Narnia’s time stream isn’t just out of phase with ours, it runs at different rates at different times. For instance 60 or so years go by in our world between Magician and Lion, Witch, Wardrobe, but untold thousands pass in Narnia. Then between Lion, Witch, Wardrobe and Caspian 2-3 years go by in our world, while thousands pass in Narnia. But between Caspian and Dawn Treader only a few years go by in both worlds.
Using the Narnia model for Lost island, we have a way for the outside world and the island to show no correlation between time streams. This gives the writers a lot of freedom as to how much time has gone by in the two places when the Oceanic 6 finally do return, as I suspect they must.
Other than the timestream issues, The Chronicles of Narnia make a nice reference because, as with Lost, a small group of believers find their faith tested and ultimately they will have to be the ones to return to the magical other place in order to save it. Will there be one who, like Susan in Narnia, refuses to believe in the things she has seen? If so, look for one of the Oceanic 6 to pass on returning, thus sealing his or her fate.
Narnia mainly serves as a potent reminder of the importance of faith in Lost. It can be lost, but the island will take a person back who regains his faith (John Locke blowing up the Hatch but coming to see the error of his ways), and sometimes one’s faith must lead to sacrifice (see Ben sacrificing his life on the island in order to save it when he moves the island at the end of Season 4). The question, then, is will Jack find sufficient faith to lead the Oceanic 6 back?
I suspect we’ll have a clearer picture of the Narnia connections in Season 5, which starts tonight. Something tells me The Chronicles of Narnia may join The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Watership Down as a source of recurring references on Lost.
I hope you’ll check out the rest of my Lost Book Club posts.