In The Last Battle, the final volume in the fantasy The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, a wicked ape dresses a donkey in a lion skin in order to fabricate a fake of the Christ-figure, the lion Aslan. The ape thus creates an alternate narrative of Aslan’s actions and commandments, using it to gain power and material advantages. This manipulation triggers great disturbances which distress and confuse many innocents. Some of them, a group of dwarfs, bitterly decide to believe and trust nothing and no one. As a consequence, they become traitors of those trying to debunk the false pretensions of the ape; when they find themselves in the new Narnia (an image of the Kingdom), they are unable to perceive it. They imagine themselves in a dark stable, surrounded by foul things and malevolent people. Nothing can persuade them of the wonderful reality because they have spent so much time trying not to be “taken in” that they are unable to be “taken out” of their own alternate, cynical worldview.
But do the dwarfs bear the whole responsibility for this situation? Or was it the inventor of the fake Aslan? Were the confusion and bitterness resulting in the discovery of the forgery not the real reason for their incapacity to see the truth? Read More