“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
-The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the first book written in the unforgettable Chronicles of Narnia
. The story was originally written for Lewis' niece, upon whom the character Lucy is based. Later, Narnia was made available to everyone.
Four children, sent away from home during World War II
, have discovered a way into another world. In this land of Narnia
, fantastic creatures live under the rule of the White Witch, who has made eternal winter. After visiting, they realize that their coming has been foretold. And they, the “Sons of Adam” and “Daughters of Eve”, are to bring Aslan
, the Lord and King of Narnia back to fight the White Witch. Armed with only their own wits, they quickly discover that Narnia holds many surprises for them. And this book is their first journey
into that great Land.
Edmund and Lucy gain entrance into Narnia before their siblings, with very different results. Lucy befriends a Faun
working for the White Witch
and convinces him that there is no need to harm human children, which he seems to whole-heartedly agree with as he lets her go home. Meanwhile, Edmund meets up with the same White Witch whom the Faun was working in the service of. She bewitches him to bring his brother and sisters to her castle
, where she can stop them from fulfilling any prophecies and continue her reign.
Thus begins the children's first adventure in the land of Narnia...
The Pevensie Children
"Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy..."
Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are the books main characters. Peter and Susan are the eldest children and, of course, the most responsible. Lucy is young, but extremely mature for her age. Edmund, on the other hand, is a brat
. He looks out only for himself and risks ruining Narnia, just for his own gain.
These four are to become the Kings and Queens of Narnia. And it is they who must save Narnia, regardless of their own misgivings. Edmund himself is set up to betray his family, as well as the whole of Narnia. This is due in part to his own flaws of greed and envy
The White Witch
“It's she that makes it always winter. Always winter and never Christmas; think of that!”
The Witch rules over Narnia, quite simply, because she is evil. She covets rank and the power that comes with it. From her there is no seed of goodness
to be weeded out. She represents cruelty, sadism, evil, and greed. When the land of Narnia lives in peace, she comes by and takes over. Using magic
, she covers the land in eternal snow
and destroys all happiness. When anyone displeases her, she turns them to stone in order to punish them. It is with these powers that she rules over the land's creatures
While evil, she is not stupid. She is tricky
and devious, in order to get what she desires. And in the case of this book, she wants naught but to keep her power. Which happens to involve the death of the Pevensie children.
Aslan the Lion
"All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think."
Aslan is the Witch's opposite. Where she is evil
, he is pure good. While she destroys, he creates. He saves. He restores. Aslan sets right all wrong-doings
and stands for all that is right in the world. His limitless power
and benevolence makes him an ideal god-head. And those in Narnia seem to see him as such, both fearing and awaiting his return.
Where the White Witch seduced Edmund to the path of evil, Aslan teaches him the wrongness of his ways and steers the boy towards good
. The Lion-King of Narnia dies in order to save Edmund the betrayer, showing his love for all, including those who do wrong.
“But if the Professor was right it was only the beginning of the adventures of Narnia.”
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
opens up the world of Narnia. And that is the world that every child hopes exists. One of fantastic creatures
, of heroes, of good and evil. A world where anyone could enter into, if they were keen on the signs around them. And is that not every child's dream? To be able to disappear off and adventure.
Lewis wrote a fairy tale. And he wrote it in a manner to excite
the mind. The reason I fell into Narnia was because he wrote for a child's mind, with the assumption that children can think. Narnia was my first real entrance into fantasy books. From there, I went to the high fantasy of Tolkien
and ever onward. But it was Lewis that started me off and it was this book that did it.
While people look at it as a children's novel
, it is much more then that. Yes, it's a book with religious undertones. But I don't believe they are there to preach to you. I think he's telling a story with what he knows best. Which, yes, involves religion
. But if you won't pick up a book because it dabbles in Christianity
, then you're cutting off your nose, to spite your face. This book borrows from Lewis' religion, much like any writing borrows from the author's lives.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of those books that I suggest people read, even if they hate
fantasy. Lewis starts it off quickly and doesn't let you stop. It isn't a terribly long read, but it is worth-while. If nothing else, you'll just have faint flickerings back to when you used to imagine that every corner had a mystery
and every doorway was a portal to another world.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Publisher: Collier Books
Date Published: 1950
An E2 Quest: Writeup Redemption submission.
Dedicated to wertperch who happens to be getting married today!