Monday, August 15, 2016

Discussion Questions for “The Last Battle”

Here’s the final set of discussion questions in our rapidly concluding Summer Reading Project. Previous postings here on The Book Den explain the program and include discussion questions for the first books in C.S. Lewis’ classic adventure series, The Chronicles of Narnia. You can read through the other question lists here, here, here, here, here, and here. In addition, you can check out how the first Narnia dinner party/discussion worked out at this post.

As we have said previously, you may not need any conversation starters other than the general questions that work the best for any book discussion. Those questions, of course, include the following. Did you like the book? What did you learn from it? Were there any characters, incidents, passages, or even single lines that made an impact on you? Were there things in the book you had questions about or disagreements? What were some of the most memorable things about the book?

Questions for Kids (and adults)

1) Who was Shift?
2) What was the donkey’s name?
3) King Tirian’s best friend was an usual animal.  What kind of animal was it and what was his name?
4) What made the Ape even uglier?
5) Who said, “True freedom means doing what I tell you”?
6) What was the name of the evil cat?  What eventually happens to him?
7) Who first shows up from our world to help rescue Tirian after he was captured by the Calormenes?
8) Did the magic rings bring them to Narnia?
9) What is the North Star of Narnia called?
10) Why does Jill whisper, “Get down.  Thee better” instead of "Get down. See better" which is what she meant?
11) Who rescued Puzzle from inside the hut?
12) How was Poggin different from the other dwarfs?
13) Who was Poonwit?
15) What was the Eagle’s name? Did you like him?
16) Who was Emeth?
17) What Narnia creatures immediately came bounding to the King’s side just before the battle begins?
18) What happened to the Narnia heroes?
19) What happened to the Narnia horses?
20) By whose power did Tash and Rishda Tarkaan suddenly disappear?
21) Why hadn’t Susan returned to Narnia along with the others?
22) What was Queen Lucy referring to when she said, “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world”?

Questions for Adults (and kids)

1) Describe the relationship between the ape and the donkey.
2) The Ape’s disbelief in Aslan is the foundation for his other sins. What do you think?
3) Who says, “I knew there were liars on earth; there are none among the stars”?
4) Aslan’s reputation was tarnished by evil creatures using his name as a front for their own greedy purposes.  Sound familiar?
5) Why do Tirian and Jewel surrender themselves to the Calormenes?
6) The Ape began by denying Aslan’s existence.  The next step was denying his own; that is, by denying what he was and claiming instead that he was a man. It's an illustration of a classic Francis Schaeffer observation, don't you think?
7) The Ape’s idea of freedom and good wages turns out to be the same as Lenin, Stalin, and the rest of the Communist dictators our our age.
8) Is the confusion about Aslan being Tash and vice versa not an example of the ancient (yet still prevalent) sin of syncretism?
9) “If [Tirian] had been allowed to speak, the rule of the Ape might have ended that day.”  Ah, yes. Evil and tyranny hate the truth and constantly seek to bury it.
10) When Tirian begins to cry out to Aslan, the most immediate change is what?
11) “The light is dawning, the lie broken.”  What a powerful watchword this is.
12) Talk about the Dwarves.
13) One result of the false Aslan was that many then became so confused, disillusioned, and embittered that they refused to believe in the real one.
14) The character of Tash is one of the ways Lewis emphasizes the reality of spiritual warfare…with real demon powers.
15) “By mixing a little of truth with it, they had made their lie far stronger.” Think about this as it regards false religion, modern media, and so on.
16) “Unstiffened.” What a cool way to describe a glorified body!
17) The Door is a powerful symbol in Christianity and Lewis uses it in a profound way in the book. Any comments?
18) The entrance into Aslan's country involved a simple look at Aslan...and a look from Aslan. Those who were his friends, those who trusted in him knew they could enter. But, on the other hand, those who were not friends also knew by his look that they were forbidden to enter. It's a striking metaphor for heaven, don't you think?
19) “There were queer specimens among them.” Indeed. Do you think we may well see some folks in heaven that will surprise us?
20) “Further in and higher up.”
21) Talk a bit about the character and the fate of Emeth.
22) Discuss the title of the chapter "Farewell to Shadowlands."
23 Narnia reborn gives the reader an idea of what the New Earth may look like to us -- the same, yet gloriously redeemed, reconciled, and remade by Christ's Hand.