The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

by: C. S. Lewis

Themes

The Danger of Gluttony

Critics have proposed that each of the seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia addresses one of the seven deadly sins. Whether or not this is true, it is certainly the case that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe specifically focuses on gluttony. Edmund's descent into the Witch's service begins during his frantic consumption of the magic Turkish Delight. Since this is enchanted Turkish Delight, Edmund cannot be held accountable for his gluttony as if he were overindulging in ordinary candy. The real sin occurs when Edmund allows himself to fixate on the Turkish Delight long after he leaves the Witch. Edmund's consumption of the Turkish Delight may also be a reference to the sin of Adam and Eve, when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam and Eve also committed a sin of consumption, and God punishes them as well. Edmund's gluttony for the Turkish Delight alludes to Adam and Eve's desire to eat the apple.

The Power of Satan

Edmund is a traitor and his life is forfeit to the White Witch, just as any sinner's life is forfeit to Satan after death without the intervention of God. The White Witch may not be an exact representation of Satan—the imagery that surrounds her does not quite fit that of the devil himself. Perhaps she is a servant of Satan and an overlord of Narnia—Narnia's special patron demon. The Witch claims the lives of all Narnians who sin irrevocably, an allusion to Satan's claim of the souls of such sinners.

Humankind's Redemption

Not everything in Narnia directly parallels the story of Jesus, but the similarities are too striking to ignore. Aslan sacrifices his life to save Edmund, just as Christ gave his life to save mankind. Through Aslan's death, Edmund's sin is expunged, and Edmund is permitted to live. Similarly, mankind is permitted to live in heaven now that Christ's death has expunged Adam's original sin when he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. Lewis's goal is to present us with a variation on the Christian legend. Narnia presents us with a different perspective on faith, and helps the story of Jesus come to life.


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