Summary: Back on This Side of The Door

Lucy and Edmund come bursting out of the wardrobe. Lucy enthusiastically tells Peter and Susan about Narnia and wants Edmund to back up her story. When Lucy tells the story and looks to Edmund for verification, Edmund tells the others that he and Lucy were just playing a game. This gives him an opportunity to act superior to Lucy, but his plan backfires. Instead, Peter and Susan think he has been spitefully playing with Lucy's mind.

Feeling that they are getting out of their league and fearing that Lucy is losing her mind, Peter and Susan decide to seek the advice of the Professor. When they speak to him, they are surprised to find that he appears to believe Lucy's story. He points out that they have never known her to lie, whereas Edmund has a history of lying. The Professor says that the rest of Lucy's behavior proves that she is not insane. He contends that Susan and Peter's views of the possible and impossible are narrow if they reject the possibility of "another world" such as Narnia. Furthermore, the Professor also concocts an ingenious theory to explain how Lucy was only gone for a second. He explains that a separate world would more likely have a separate time that would not correspond to our sense of time. Peter and Susan leave the Professor's room more confused than when they went entered, but with just enough doubt to become wary of the whole subject. They remain quiet about the issue and make sure that Edmund leaves Lucy alone, so the excitement seems to subside.

One day, all four children are standing together in a hallway when they hear the housekeeper coming down the hall with a tour party. Fearful of being found in an awkward situation, they try to avoid the party, but the party seems to follow them everywhere, and they find themselves chased into the wardrobe room. Hearing people fumbling at the door, they all step into the wardrobe.


In this chapter, Lewis further depicts Edmund as a malicious, flawed boy. Edmund seems particularly spiteful because he deliberately refuses to support his sister, Lucy. Edmund's actions suggest that it is not just a desire for the enchanted Turkish Delight that motivates his treachery. Edmund's greed for power and superiority also prompts him to treat others with cruelty. Peter and Susan's response to Edmund's behavior reveals a great deal about their characters as well. Although Peter and Susan do not initially believe in the existence of another world, they immediately understand that Edmund is treating Lucy unkindly. Peter and Susan do not join Edmund when he taunts Lucy. Peter and Susan do not discount Lucy's words, but try to help her and heal her.

Edmund's gluttony for sweets and power not only clouds his judgment of the White Witch, but it also obscures his ability to accept the existence of Narnia. Edmund sees a whole new world, yet he denies that this world exists. Lewis creates a parallel between Edmund and the non-believer—a person who refuses to believe in Christianity and the existence of God. Unlike Lucy, a child with an open mind, Edmund's mind is closed to the possibility of a separate world. Likewise, God is intangible, so it is difficult for some people to believe in His existence. Thus, Lewis creates a literal, tangible, new world about which there could be no debate as to its existence. Edmund, representing the non-believer, sees Narnia with his own eyes and still denies that it is real. Edmund acts as if he is the voice of reason, but his views are actually the ones that are irrational and illogical. Similarly, non-believers rationalize that we cannot prove that God exists, but Lewis suggests that even though there is so much evidence for the existence of God, there are still people who rationalize that there is no God. Lewis appears to argue that it is actually the non-believers whose views are illogical.

Using the Professor, Lewis teaches a moral lesson to the children reading the book. Lewis speaks through the Professor, who claims that the existence of another world, or God, may sound extraordinary, but it is a narrow point of view to believe that it would not exist. We should trust a person not based on the probability their beliefs are true, but on their character. Lucy is a good, honest person, while Edmund is frequently dishonest. Lewis shows children how important it is to judge someone's character first, before you believe what they say. Edmund does not properly evaluate the Witch's character. Instead, Edmund gets in trouble because he immediately trusts the Witch and believes her offers of power and luxury. Lewis also uses the Professor's teachings to further develop the novel's Christian allegory. People did not believe Jesus's claim in the existence of God, although Jesus was a good, honest man. Similarly, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, even though he never wronged them. Mankind, in turn, was punished for Adam and Eve's original sin.