Evaluate the character of Edmund. To what extent is he a helpless victim of the Witch's deceit (and Turkish Delight), and to what extent is he the master of his own fate?
We can argue that the Turkish Delight enchanted Edmund, and he was compelled to befriend the Witch and be a traitor to his siblings. Lewis, however, does not seem to endorse the idea that Edmund lacked complete control of his actions. Lewis does not condemn Edmund, but he makes it clear that Edmund lacks morals and maturity. Lewis does not excuse Edmund's behavior by linking it to the Witch's magic candy. Edmund succumbs to the temptation of the Turkish Delight without a struggle. If Lewis had written that Edmund was conflicted and tried to control his desires for Turkish Delight, Edmund would have deserved more of our sympathy. Edmund does not put in the effort to fight his greed. Edmund fixates on the Turkish Delight consciously and constantly, even after he is away from the Witch. Edmund allows his greed for the Turkish Delight to impair his judgment and blind him to Witch's cruelty. Aslan also does not excuse Edmund's behavior because of the Turkish Delight. Edmund's sin is not that he indulges in the Turkish Delight, but that Edmund's greed causes him to make poor decisions and endanger his siblings and the land of Narnia. Lewis's portrayal of Edmund condemns the "devil made me do it" excuse.
What does Narnia symbolize?
We might be tempted to argue that Narnia represents the simple, unchallenged faith that lies in a child's heart. We might also think that Narnia does not represent anything in our world except perhaps the earth itself. Narnia is the one component of the book that is literal and can stand on its own without the Christian legend. In the novel, the children really do travel to another world. There is not just an allegorical journey that takes place in the childrens' psyches or dreams. This other world of Narnia adheres to the same basic rules and structure as our world. They have seasons like we do, and they believe in right and wrong—and that killing someone is wrong. Christians believe that we are united by one God, and by his only Son, and by the laws that bind God and all of His creations. Narnian world is a Christian world, except the Narnian god takes the shape of a lion instead of a man. The Pevensies, like the reader, learn about God and Christ through their adventure in Narnia. Lewis uses Narnia because it fulfills a child's fantasy of another world. The magical land of Narnia makes the story of Christianity more accessible, but it does not actually represent anything in allegorical terms. Narnia is the setting for the allegory, but it is not a direct symbol which corresponds to any one thing in our world.
Do you feel that C. S. Lewis's representation of the White Witch is sexist? Is Lewis a misogynist (someone who hates women)?
Does the wardrobe serve an allegorical function? Explain.
What is the effect of Lewis's depiction of Aslan as a lion? Does it adequately express the nuances of Christ's character?
Why is Lucy, the youngest child, the first to enter Narnia, and Edmund, the next youngest, the second to enter? Is this a coincidence, or is Lewis making a point about the ability of younger children to be more open-minded?
What is the role of the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea in the novel? How does Lewis portray him?
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