2012 年 9 巻 1 号 p. 58-70
George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish author, published his first three short fantasy works for children in 1864. The Shadows is one of them. The shadow represents a human soul. On his deathbed, Ralph, the main character, sees a vision, and he is chosen as the King of the fairyland by the Shadows, then he is carried, on the shoulders of Shadows, to the fairyland or the border of the afterworld. Ralph sees a group of mysterious Shadows there.
Although The Shadows consists of very complicated symbolical scenes, images, and words, my close analysis of the workings of Shadows and the visions of Ralph gives the following conclusion: The Shadows is a declaration of MacDonald's idea of salvation(Universalism), because all Shadows try to lead not only Ralph but also all people to salvation in the story.