Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.


The Witch imposes an enchanted, eternal winter on Narnia, symbolizing a dead, stagnant time. Nothing grows, animals hibernate, and people crouch around fires rather than enjoying the outdoors. Nearly every human being has a visceral negative reaction to winter, even when it is a normal length. We can imagine how quickly an eternal winter would become intolerable. The Witch's winter destroys the beauty and the life in Narnia. There is a pristine appeal to woods blanketed in snow and frozen waterfalls, but our overall impression is one of a barren, empty land. The season of winter represents that Narnia has fallen under an evil regime. As snow falls, so does the land of Narnia. The Witch's snow hides all traces of Aslan or the Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Narnia is undoubtedly bleak and grim.

How much more wondrous, then, is the spring that occurs when Aslan arrives in Narnia. Of course, Christmas occurs before spring can come, because Christmas is the birth of Christ. It is Christmas that signals hope for mankind: with the birth of Christ, we are given the hope of new life. Spring follows Christmas and all of a sudden the woods are completely alive—flowers are blooming, springs and brooks are chuckling, birds are singing, and delightful smells waft past on gentle breezes. This is no ordinary spring, just as the Witch's winter was no ordinary winter. The spring is just as enchanted as the winter, only now Narnia is experiencing the epitome of life rather than death.