Now, this may be hard for some of you to grasp, but being in college, you don't have time for a lot of pleasure reading. I have only maneged to read one book for pleasure all semester and I didn't write a report on it. Sorry. Between the 39 papers I've written this semester and the 35 books I've read, I didn't have time to be original.
So here is one that I did for college.
Josh Martin 10/20/11
Chambers College: Four Christian Fantasists
The Golden Key
By George MacDonald
The Golden Key is an allegory by George MacDonald. He follows two main characters named Mossy and Tangle. As the book starts, Mossy’s Aunt is telling him about a golden key that can be found at the end of a rainbow. Mossy finds special interest in the key and one day sees a rainbow in the woods. He goes to it in search of the key. He gets there and finds the key lying in a patch of moss. A fish then comes to him and shows him the way to a house where he meets Tangle and her grandmother.
Tangle was also brought there by a fish. They are sent on a journey by the grandmother to find the door that Mossy’s key will open. They walk through the woods and across a plain. They see some shadows dancing and wish to go to the realm that they are from. After being separated, Tangle finds the old man of the sea. She then is bathed and sent to see the old man of the earth and then lastly to the old man of the fire. He tells her how to get to the land where the shadows are.
Mossy also finds the old man of the sea, but he sees a great king when he talks to him. He is told that because he has a golden key he may cross the sea and find the door. The door leads to Tangle and they reunite and find another key hole. Mossy turns the key and it vanishes before them, but the doorway leads to the land of the shadows.
The symbolism in this book is very interesting and I think obscure. I think the key represents salvation in a way. Both Mossy and his father find a key and go on a journey. I think the fish that go into the pot then come out with white wings are angles because later one guides Tangle through the mountain. The shadow land represents heaven. The different men that Tangle meets I perceive as different levels of purgatory. When she goes to the old man of the fire, she goes through a refining fire, I think because she doesn’t have a key, so her road is much harder. Because Mossy has a key, he gets to skip “purgatory”.
In Tolkien’s “leaf by Niggle”, Niggle has a period of sanctification in purgatory, but Tangle seems to go through salvation in purgatory after she has died. I think that Tolkien does a better job in reflecting their life over their death because MacDonald doesn’t really stop the pace of the story when they die. Their death is almost the exact same as their life, which is very unbiblical.
There you go.
In Christ alone, Josh Martin