Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

Moderators: coracle, Lady Arwen

Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby StarAsterisk » Jan 15, 2011 3:35 pm

ImageImage
When most of us think about a unicorn, we usually imagine a glittering pink pony floating amongst cotton-candy clouds. However, this image was not always so. For the medival church at one point, the unicorn was a symbol for Christ. The best known story of the unicorn goes like this: "A great king (God) had a son (Adam, representing mankind) who was near death. The king ordered a hunt for the elusive unicorn (Christ), whose ivory horn has magical healing powers. Beacuse unicorns connot be captured by anyone exept a virgin maiden (Mary), the hunters drove the unicorn into her waiting arms. He was seized and slaughtered, and his horn was crushed to powder and used to revive the son." Remind you of something? This story is ilistrated in the famous Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries, wich you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpgDwT0hX7M

The unicorn's "small stature represents his humility; his single horn, unity with God. He connot be subdued agaisnt his will, but he gives his lofe in love for his maiden." "He protects other animals from the serpent, who poisons the waters where they come to drink and then lies in wait to kill them. The unicorn, however, purifies the water by dipping his horn in it, making it safe for all."

(Eyerything in quotes is directly quoted from my source, Roar by Heather Kopp with David Kopp.)

I found this very interesting, and it made me wonder, are these stories the reason Lewis chose to include a unicorn in LB? (He was a scholar of Renaissance myth so I asume he knew about them.)

Discuss!
Image
signature by Beginte
User avatar
StarAsterisk
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Dec 11, 2010
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby Conina » Jan 15, 2011 10:22 pm

I would need to read LB again. Off the top of my head, I would agree with you that Jewel may have been a Christ-symbol. Jewel, if I remember correctly, is a loyal friend and may be a foil for Puzzle. I would want to re-read LB under the hypothesis of Jewel quietly demonstrating Christ-like qualities amidst all the hubbub of Puzzle dressing in the Lion skin and Tash running around.
"Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning." -C.S. Lewis
User avatar
Conina
NarniaWeb Junkie
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Aug 15, 2009
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby Gwayne » Jan 21, 2011 11:53 am

Conina wrote:I would need to read LB again. Off the top of my head, I would agree with you that Jewel may have been a Christ-symbol. Jewel, if I remember correctly, is a loyal friend and may be a foil for Puzzle. I would want to re-read LB under the hypothesis of Jewel quietly demonstrating Christ-like qualities amidst all the hubbub of Puzzle dressing in the Lion skin and Tash running around.


Well, Conina, I think she's talking about unicorns in general, not just the character Jewel in the Chronicles. Of course, Jewel is a loyal friend, just as you said, so he does seems to be reminicent of the true meaning of unicorns.

I think it's such a wonderful idea for unicorns to be a Christ-symbol. And what a difference between the flittery pink pony unicorns that have ribbons in their manes and talk in high-pitched voices. :D
Image
Sig/Avi by myself.
User avatar
Gwayne
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Dec 31, 2010
Location: Asarka

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby sweeetlilgurlie » Jan 22, 2011 6:24 pm

Good question. I think that perhaps not so much a Christ figure, because he is not perfect, nor does he redeem Narnia, but a symbol of purity that fights against the dark evil of the Calormenes.
"Let the music cast its spell,
give the atmosphere a chance.
Simply follow where I lead;
let me teach you how to dance."
User avatar
sweeetlilgurlie
Moderator Emeritus
The Sparkle Princess
 
Posts: 5424
Joined: Oct 26, 2005
Location: Narnia
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby StarAsterisk » Mar 10, 2011 7:25 am

I would probably agree that it would be a bit odd to have TWO Christ figures, but maybe Jewel was just representing how we should be Christ-like as oposed to actually Christ?
Image
signature by Beginte
User avatar
StarAsterisk
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Dec 11, 2010
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby Aravis Narnia » Mar 12, 2011 3:49 pm

I think only Aslan is, well, Aslan's Secret Identity.

Tirian and Jewel seem to me to be best friends like David and Yonatan. Except doesn't Caspian parallel David?
User avatar
Aravis Narnia
NarniaWeb Fanatic
 
Posts: 4546
Joined: Oct 09, 2009
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Mar 12, 2011 10:20 pm

David and Yonatan? Do you mean David and Jonathan?
Anyway, it's not a strict allegory, it's a suppousal, much like Lord of the Rings. So there can be several characters that portray elements of Christ (or others).
Currently watching:
Resurrection - S2
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - S2
User avatar
Warrior 4 Jesus
NarniaWeb Master
 
Posts: 10041
Joined: Mar 06, 2005
Location: Australia
Gender: Male

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby Aravis Narnia » Mar 13, 2011 9:14 am

Yup, I used the Hebrew phonetic spelling. Correct me if I spelled it wrong.

I know not everything in Narnia is supposed to be a parallel allegory. But the friendship of Tirian and Jewel reminded me of this episode in the Old Testament.
User avatar
Aravis Narnia
NarniaWeb Fanatic
 
Posts: 4546
Joined: Oct 09, 2009
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby StarAsterisk » Mar 14, 2011 9:49 am

interesting thoughts guys...

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:it's not a strict allegory, it's a suppousal, much like Lord of the Rings. So there can be several characters that portray elements of Christ (or others).


good point!
Image
signature by Beginte
User avatar
StarAsterisk
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Dec 11, 2010
Location: Florida
Gender: Female

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby Elluinas Mirion » May 25, 2011 12:47 am

comment of May 26th:
After two days thinking about what I wrote below, I rather regret the lot. I do not believe Lewis wrote thinking in this manner at all (as I indicated originally) though by happy accident this particular hieroglyph turns out to be just what it is. Sometimes a Unicorn is Just a Unicorn (could it ever be otherwise).

original follows:

What is Jewel?

What does he represent in LB?

I confess this isn't the way I pose questions to myself. Rather I ask, how does he operate in the story.

I think your point about the Legends of Unicorns are actually closer to the mark. King Tyrian is in fact "the virgin Maid". He is unmarried. He is also a bit naive, and by that I mean that although he is battle tested, he has no real sorrows that we ever hear about, no life tragedies, no adversities overcome. A blank. You might almost say that he is as innocent as puzzle (though a good deal more intelligent we hope). Eustace by contrast has gone through far more. Iron must first be refined before it is shaped by fire and hammer.

In that sense then, Jewel is just the sort of companion for Tyrian. The white and the purple (think of those little snails they used for dye back in the day). Too perfect, too pure. And against this perfection is sent the most unlikely and absurd plot: a donkey, an ape, and a platoon of Calormenian mercenaries.

It's quite a contrast from what's happening in our world today where we have universal deceit, and moral decay. Instead in Tyrian's Narnia, you have complacency.

Well does Tyrian say "My friend, I have now this sudden feeling that we it would have been better to have died in battle years ago than to bear what we will now experience". Which turns out to be correct. It is a eucatastrophe, all Tyrian's plans run amiss, almost as though they are both destined to be the sacrificial lambs, not to redeem the world, but merely to mark the doorpost that shows the way out of the world.

I will leave you with another symbol, a bit bloody. In alchemy it is called "The Massacre of The Innocents." You may have heard of it at christmastime, it is but a side note to the flight into aegypt. But in the alchemical understanding it is a bit more than that. In order to renew the world, the living spirit must be extracted from the old body, distilled and then implanted in the new material. I know this seems hard to understand because it seems so unfair. At this stage in the game it's no longer about redemption, it's about extraction.

So many innocents (all the horses, and so many others) so pointlessly felled at the end, and then the bath of stars. You would be deluded or blinded by tears were it not for the fact that by this point in the story you begin to see the final goal of the process.

So the legend you quote, and both images you posted seem to be correct, but not as a symbol of the redemptive christ, but as a symbol of the end of the process of the refining, grapes crushed into wine. This seems confusing, because we are more familiar with the story of THE Christ, as opposed to the process that we individually experience at the end, or the much rarer process of the end of the world. And, well, we're obviously not dead yet, so how could we be expected to know?

Though if anyone has any more precise memories, please feel free to correct my ignorant babbling. =))

I'd better emphasize that this is speculation at best, I'd have to know how old Tyrian was when all this happened, and I just dont remember. What I hope is clear is that nothing I've said here changes the essence of the story. Otherwise it would be highly suspect.

aure entuluva! na kare indolmelya!


a rakuenno ar kiryar.

獅子のための kwa simba από το λιοντάρι fyrir ljónið Az oroszlán par lauva
사자의 na i Ravession voor de leeuw bagi singa
User avatar
Elluinas Mirion
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 24, 2009
Location: according to ML, on "Cloud 9"

Re: Unicorns: pink and glittery or Christ symbol?

Postby StarAsterisk » May 30, 2011 11:28 am

Wow Elluinas Mirion you apear to be very thoughtful! Thanks for taking the time to adress this interesting point. :)

You make a good point saying that "Sometimes a Unicorn is Just a Unicorn", and if any observation or possible allegory seems to change the essence of the story it probably shouldn't be taken into much consideration.
Image
signature by Beginte
User avatar
StarAsterisk
NarniaWeb Nut
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Dec 11, 2010
Location: Florida
Gender: Female


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron