Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Student Spotlight: Cierra L.

Hi! Welcome to the first Student Spotlight on My Life in Books. Today's featured student writer is Cierra L. She is a talented 9th grader, whose class just finished reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Reading this book was simple comprehension-wise, however, Cierra and her classmates also studied Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey" alongside of the reading. In addition, each student completed his or her own character study on a character of their choice. This was perhaps the first time they were not given an actual prompt from which to write. Based on the information they gathered about their chosen character, each student had to completely create his or her own thesis. This was a challenge, but they were up for it, and did well overall. Here is a sampling from Cierra! Enjoy!

Welcome Cierra!

The Great Lion
The lion, the most regal and magnificent creature to roam the Earth, is often referred to as the King of Beasts. In mythology, lions are often portrayed as wise, selfless and devoted to a cause. Aslan, a character is C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, possesses all of these traits, including the fact that he is a divine being. These characteristics lead up to Aslan being ultimately just, the True King of Narnia.
Aslan, the Great Lion, was many things, including a seasoned warrior. At the Stone Table, before sacrificing himself to save Edmund, Aslan shared his wisdom with Peter: explaining battle plans, systems, and strategy. Narnia’s king also demonstrates his superior knowledge when speaking of the Deep and Deeper Magic. The law of Narnia states that “...every traitor belongs to [the Witch] as [her] lawful prey and that for every treachery [she has] a right to kill.” Of course Aslan knew this, so he understood the Witch had a right to Edmund, and wanted his blood. But nobody in all of Narnia knew what Aslan knew: if an innocent victim, who committed no crime (treachery, in this case) willingly died in place of the traitor, the Stone Table would crack and Death would work backwards. 
Not only was Aslan wise, but he was also completely selfless and devoted to his kingdom. After Peter, Susan, and Lucy Pevensie went to the Stone Table to ask Aslan to save their traitorous brother, he strikes a deal with the White Witch. Aslan offers to sacrifice himself to save Edmund, even though he has never met Edmund, and the boy really didn’t deserve it. The True King of Narnia goes to the White Witch willingly, knowing he will be tortured, disgraced, and murdered. Why? It was not only for Edmund’s sake, but also his kingdom’s. As mentioned earlier, it was said that Aslan was completely devoted to his kingdom of Narnia. Aslan was not only the king of Narnia, but other countries as well. He comes back to help restore peace to Narnia because, as Mr. Beaver stated, “she’d made it always winter and never Christmas.” His people needed him, and he came back to help guide them out of their terrible predicament. This desperate situation calls to action Aslan’s strong qualities of both selflessness and devotion.
The main thing that separates The Great Lion from every other character in Narnia is the fact that he is a divine being. Aslan was so great, so “terrifying, magnificent, and beautiful” that even the Witch was afraid of him. He was an unconquerable and had known of Narnia since “the stillness and darkness before time dawned”. Clearly, Aslan was anything but ordinary. But  perhaps the greatest demonstration of Aslan’s divinity is the effect he had on creatures he’d never even met. The Pevensie children had only been in Narnia a short time, and barely knew any of the customs or history of Narnia. But upon hearing Aslan’s name horror, adventure, peace, and excitement were instilled instantly inside them.
It is clear to see that Aslan was incredibly wise, demonstrated by  his invaluable intelligence in the art of battle and his supreme intelligence while saving Edmund. He also possesses the qualities of selflessness and extreme devotion while restoring peace to Narnia. Perhaps the largest and most important characteristic Aslan possessed was his divinity. All of these qualities made Aslan an ultimately just being, the True King of Narnia.

So, what do you think readers? These Freshmen have it going on! Looking forward to their future endeavors.


  1. Great job Cierra! This was a truly interesting and enjoyable read. Your insights into Aslan's character and motivations were both well thought out and well written.

  2. I wish I had read the book before reading your review, Cierra, because I would have loved to know more about the story in order to give you an informed opinion.
    You explained perfectly well how this character is and why he is so important in the story, him being the safety keeper in Narnia (and the king too), and using his brains to do the best, not just mere force or taking advantage of his role as king.
    Hope you enjoyed the read (it seems so) and you keep on sharing your thoughts with us!
    When I was your age I only read classics as schools assignments, so Narnia looks like a much more enjoyable read than mine ;)

  3. Hi Cierra,

    Like "fromisi" above, I've not read this book, however, your descriptions of Aslan, the laws and rules the inhabitants live by, and Aslan's compassion for not only the kingdom of Narnia but those that occupy it, were thought provoking. I say that because of the parallels I was able to make about good and evil, right and wrong, and choices. Your writing is clear, concise, and you made this very interesting to read, despite my lack of knowledge about the overall story.

    Well done!

  4. Wow Cierra, your writing is so clear and to the point, but still beautiful. I love the points you made here. You make me want to reread this. Thanks so much for sharing!