Preface by Elizabeth Baird Hardy
Chapter Five. Flying to Freedom in The Horse and His Boy 98
Chapter Five Flying to Freedom in The Horse and His Boy “Off we go. Narnia and the North!” (Ch. 9) he Horse and His Boy (1954), the fifth of the Chronicles of Narnia to be published, takes place during the Pevensie children’s first journey into Narnia. Prince Rabadash, the son of the Calormene Tisroc, is the suitor of Queen Susan, and for this reason she and King Edmund with other Narnians are visiting the Calormene capital, Tashbaan. But the Pevensies’ roles are secondary to the main story which is about two young people who flee enslavement in Calormen in quest of freedom in Narnia: the boy Shasta, who is the lost Prince Cor of Archenland, and the girl Aravis Tarkheena, a noble-born Calormene. Together with their talking horse companions, Bree and Hwin, Narnians captured and taken to Calormen at a young age, Shasta and Aravis escape their different forms of captivity, spurred on by Bree’s characteristic rallying cry, “Off we go. Narnia and the North!” (109). The informing metaphor of this novel is fugitiveness, not only physical flight but a flight from mental and spiritual bond- age. In their race against deadly enemies to find their true homeland, the four companions discover that they must face the more difficult challenge of leaving behind inner enslavement. Their life and death struggle to escape Calormen is a journey of discovery into what true liberty means and requires of them. In this story, C.S. Lewis subverts the “masculine” classical heroic ethos of the...
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