Monday, August 5, 2013


Clearly C.S. Lewis valued the art of storytelling, as this is a prominent theme throughout the Narnia novels.  In fact, even his characters uphold this tradition of understanding background stories of those whom they encounter. 

This is largely evident in The Horse and His Boy, as Bree (the talking horse) responds to Hwin’s chatter with “Hush, Ma’am, hush” as he was thoroughly enjoying the story.  “She’s telling it in the grand Calormene manner and no story-teller in a Tisroc’s court could do it better.”

Later when Shasta asks a question during Aravis’s story, Bree snarls back, “Be quiet, youngster… you’re spoiling the story.  She’ll tell us all about the letter in the right place.”

In the right place.

This means, then, that there is a right and wrong way to tell a story. Things need to fall according to their place.  Eustace had a hard time explaining how he turned into a dragon in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader because he "had no idea how to tell a story straight." Imagine what would happen to your favorite story if there was no climax in the plot.  Think of what would happen if there was no build up of certain parts or no connection was made with any characters.

But above and beyond telling a story in the right order is the danger of telling a single-sided story.  After all, this is how rumors begin.  This is how people are categorized into stereotypes.  This is how we as readers and hearers of stories can fall victim to racism and bigotry.

The following clip delves more into the danger of a single story.  Chimamanda Adichie (whom I became quite a fan of because of my prof. Dr. Allan Bevere) does an amazing job and articulating this topic.

Lucy says (in Prince Caspian), "we love stories!" so be mindful of how you tell your tale.


  1. I found this pretty amazing. I definitely agree with the character Lucy's exclamation of a universal affection for story, but as indicated in the video from Chimamanda's clip, the danger is when we either a.) project a story upon someone else (usually one we've crafted in our own minds) or; b.) refuse to capture the robust story that we each carry, and instead focus only on the "single story."