Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Silver Chair Read-Along | Discussion 3

Welcome to the third and final discussion of The Silver Chair read-along! (Be sure to check out our first and second discussions too!) If this is the first you've heard of the read-along, you can learn more about the schedule in this invitation post.

Today we're going to discuss chapters 12-16. If you've read them, go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments section or in your own post! (Feel free to use the image above, linking back to The Silver Chair read-along tag.) If you still have to catch up, you're welcome to check in whenever you're ready. :)

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The Silver Chair: Chapters 12-16

Discussion Format: your favorite quotes, general impressions, and four questions to answer for each week's reading

Favorite Quotes*
  • "There is nothing like a good shock of pain for dissolving certain kinds of magic."
  • "This signifies that Aslan will be our good lord, whether he means us to live or die. And all's one, for that. Now, by my counsel, we shall all kneel and kiss his likeness, and then all shake hands one with another, as true friends that may shortly be parted. And then, let us descend into the city and take the adventure that is sent us."
  • "I have heard of those little scratches in the crust that you Topdwellers call mines. But that's where you get dead gold, dead silver, dead gems. Down in Bism we have them alive and growing. There I'll pick you bunches of rubies that you can eat and squeeze you a cupful of diamond juice. You won't care much about fingering the cold, dead treasures of your shallow mines after you have tasted the live ones in Bism." 
  • "On fine nights when the cold and the drum-taps, and the hooting of the owls, and the moonlight have got into their wild, woodland blood and made it even wilder, they will dance till daybreak. I wish you could see it for yourselves."
  • "You think I'm a ghost, or some nonsense. But don't you see? I would be that if I appeared in Narnia now: because I don't belong there any more. But one can't be a ghost in one's own country."
General Impressions

I'm quite satisfied with the ending of The Silver Chair! Once again, Puddleglum shines with stalwart faith as he bravely stomps out the fire that was messing with the heroes' minds while conversing with the Witch. It seems to me like some of C.S. Lewis's theology finds its way into Puddleglum's words... Overall, I do love his character, and the children's parting with him is quite adorable. But let me backtrack to discuss other things. ;)

The time between the Witch's defeat (huzzah!) and the heroes' arrival in Narnia is interesting. I'm intrigued by the land of Bism, and while it's not necessarily a place I'd want to visit, I do love Lewis's creativity in presenting the nature of gems! (See my third quote above.) How cool would it be if there were live gems? What would they taste like? How would they shine? So neat to imagine!

I also love the scene when Jill realizes they've reached Narnia and sees the Great Snow Dance! I love the way it's all described, and how it takes a while for disoriented Jill to notice the glow is actually from the moon and they're free. Such relief! And when Jill and Eustace are given hot drinks to enjoy, I then had to prepare myself a cup of hot cider to savor too. :)

As for the very end of the story, I'm a bit torn but mostly happy. The scenes with Caspian's death and then the meeting with Aslan are poignant. Ultimately so hopeful! But it feels like things are fixed so simply for Eustace and Jill upon their return to their world—almost too easy and perfect? I guess that's not a bad thing, though, when it reminds us that our circumstances matter to the God who sees and knows them, and He is more than able to work miracles in our lives for His glory and in accordance with His will. How the character of Aslan addresses the issue of a terrible school and bullies in Eustace and Jill's life is...interesting. That line about the Head of the school ending up in Parliament is pretty funny (and snarky)!

I should add that I love the last lines of the book and how they invite the reader to come visit Narnia and see the evidence of our heroes' journey. Makes it feel all the more tangible and epic!

Discussion Questions

Answer one, two, three, or all four of these questions in the comments section or in your own blog post!

1. Which part of the chapter featuring the Witch ("The Queen of Underland") impacted you the most?

2. Would you have been tempted to visit Bism if offered the opportunity? Why or why not?

3. How did you feel about the ending of the story—for Narnia, for Caspian, for Eustace and Jill?

4. What was your favorite line or scene in the whole book? If you've read the other books in the Chronicles of Narnia series, how does this one rank in your opinion?

To Conclude

Thank you so much for joining The Silver Chair read-along! I always love sharing and comparing thoughts with you all on some classics, and it's been fun to try something different (although I did so love our Jane Austen read-alongs too!). I hope you enjoyed reading this book, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on the other titles in this series. (For me, I think The Voyage of the Dawn Treader might still be my favorite, but The Silver Chair could be a close second! I did enjoy it quite a bit. Granted, it's been a while since I read the other books...)

Next up, I'm planning to host a read-along for Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery in March. Stay tuned for more details!

*C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), 190, 200-201, 218, 232, 253-254.


Julie said...

Thanks so much Amber for hosting this read-along! I enjoyed it very much. Of course I always enjoy the read-alongs. It's fun to discuss a book as you read it with someone else. There are of course movie versions of the Narnia series. The more recent ones and then I believe PBS did the original ones that have THE SILVER CHAIR as one of the movies. It is a bit "old-fashioned" and the acting is a bit over-dramatized on the witch's part, but it was entertaining. I always enjoy your insights into what we read because everyone takes something different from a book. I totally went the opposite way with my thoughts on BISM. I shared those in my post. I'll definitely be looking forward to reading Emily of New Moon with you. Have you ever thought about reading CHRISTY? I think that would be a fun read-along. Thanks again Amber! Here's my post:

Chloe the MovieCritic said...

I love C.S.Lewis's description of the Great Snow Dance! Thank you so much for hosting this! I have really enjoyed reading Julie and your thoughts!!
Here is my final post:

Amber Holcomb said...


Aww, it was my pleasure! I'm so happy you joined in! I always appreciate your support and the opportunity to go a bit deeper in our book discussions. :) I love that these read-alongs give me the extra motivation I need to get through some of the classics!

Ooh, that's so interesting about how we viewed Bism so differently! I really appreciate your thoughts and will leave a comment on your blog soon. :)

It's great to hear your thoughts on the movie versions too! I think I've only seen the newer ones for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I saw that Netflix is supposed to be doing some new adaptations, as well, so that should be fun to see where they take it!

Regarding future read-alongs, I'm excited for Emily of New Moon too! And yes, I would LOVE to do a read-along of Christy (and maybe Julie) at some point! I'm so glad you brought it up as one you would enjoy. :) (It's crazy I haven't actually finished reading Christy before, so that's definitely a book I could use some extra motivation to finish; not to mention there would be tons of great discussion points!)

Thank you so much for your comment and your participation in this read-along! *big hugs*


Amber Holcomb said...


Totally! That would be such a lovely and fun dance to witness, especially in the beautiful, wintry outdoors lit up by moonlight. :)

Thank YOU so much for participating in the read-along! So glad you enjoyed it. I'll come comment on your latest post soon. :)