The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

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The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Just the title of this children’s story The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, would entice any adult to take interest in this classical written by C. S. Lewis. One of C. S. Lewis’s best novels, this book centers on the intelligence of children who however have the least influence in society. Compassion, loyalty, friendship, courage, and curiosity are the main subjects.  The book was written in 1949 and has remained evergreen and timeless to this day. In 1950, it became the chronicles of Narnia.

Introduction

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe rank as one of the best children novels in history. It teaches a lot about children’s curiosity and intelligence. The book also depicts bravery and how to channel courage into positive things. For instance, through interest, Lucy discovers the Wardrobe, which was a pathway to the world of Narnia. She becomes friends with Faun and Mr. Tunus who tells her all she needs to know about the wonderland. Curiosity leads her to discover the evil that exists in Narnia, and she saves the kingdom from the white witch.

Overview

Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are four siblings sent to live in the country with the eccentric Professor Kirke during World War II. The children explore the house on a rainy day and Lucy, the youngest, finds an enormous wardrobe. Lucy steps inside and finds herself in a strange, snowy wood. Lucy encounters the Faun Tumnus, who is surprised to meet a human girl. Tumnus tells Lucy that she has entered Narnia, a different world. Tumnus invites Lucy to tea, and she accepts. Lucy and Tumnus have a wonderful tea, but the faun bursts into tears and confesses that he is a servant of the evil White Witch. The Witch has enchanted Narnia so that it is always winter and never Christmas. Tumnus explains that he has been enlisted to capture human beings. Lucy implores Tumnus to release her, and he agrees.

Lucy exits Narnia and eagerly tells her siblings about her adventure in the wardrobe. They do not believe her, however. Lucy’s siblings insist that Lucy was only gone for seconds and not for hours as she claims. When the Pevensie children look in the back of the wardrobe they see that it is an ordinary piece of furniture. Edmund teases Lucy mercilessly about her imaginary country until one day when he sees her vanishing into the wardrobe. Edmund follows Lucy and finds himself in Narnia as well. He does not see Lucy, and instead meets the White Witch that Tumnus told Lucy about. The Witch introduces herself to Edmund as the Queen of Narnia. The Witch feeds Edmund enchanted Turkish Delight, which gives Edmund an insatiable desire for the dessert. The Witch uses Edmund’s greed and gluttony to convince Edmund to bring back his siblings to meet her.

On the way back to the lamppost, the border between Narnia and our world, Edmund meets Lucy. Lucy tells Edmund about the White Witch. Edmund denies any connection between the Witch and the Queen. All Edmund can think about is his desire for the Turkish Delight. Lucy and Edmund return to Peter and Susan, back in their own world. Lucy relies on Edmund to support her story about Narnia, but Edmund spitefully tells Peter and Susan that it is a silly story. Peter and Susan are worried that Lucy is insane so they talk to Professor Kirke. The Professor shocks Peter and Susan by arguing that Lucy is telling the truth.

One day the children hide in the wardrobe to avoid the housekeeper and some houseguests. Suddenly all four Pevensie children find themselves in Narnia. Lucy leads them to Tumnus’s home, but a note informs them that Tumnus has been arrested on charges of treason. Lucy realized that this means the Witch knows that Tumnus spared Lucy’s life and that the Witch has captured Tumnus. Lucy implores her siblings to help her rescue Tumnus from the Witch. Guided by a friendly robin, the children wander into the woods and meet Mr. Beaver. Mr. Beaver brings them back to his home, where he explains that the children cannot do anything to save Tumnus. The only thing the children can do is join Mr. Beaver on a journey to see Aslan a lion. Aslan appears to be a king or god figure in Narnia. The children are all pleasantly enchanted by the name Aslan, except for Edmund, who is horrified by the sound of it. Mr. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy plot to meet Aslan at the Stone Table the following day, but they soon notice that Edmund has disappeared. Meanwhile, Edmund searches for the White Witch to warn her of Aslan’s arrival and of the Beavers’ plan. The Witch is enraged to hear that Aslan is in Narnia and immediately begins plotting to kill the children. The Witch wants to avoid an ancient prophecy that says that four humans will someday reign over Narnia and overthrow her evil regime.

The children and the Beavers, meanwhile, rush to reach the Stone Table before the Witch. As they travel, wonderful seasonal changes occur. First, they meet Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, who explains that the Witch’s spell of “always winter and never Christmas” has ended. The enchanted winter snow melts and the children see signs of spring. Simultaneously, the Witch drags Edmund toward the Stone Table and treats him very poorly. Once spring arrives, the Witch cannot use her sledge anymore, so she cannot reach the Stone Table before the children.

When the other three Pevensies meet Aslan, they are awed by him, but they quickly grow more comfortable in his presence. They love him immediately, despite their fear. Aslan promises to do all that he can to save Edmund. He takes Peter aside to show him the castle where he will be king. As they are talking, they hear Susan blowing the magic horn that Father Christmas gave her to her, signaling that she is in danger. Aslan sends Peter to help her. Arriving on the scene, Peter sees a wolf attacking Susan, and stabs it to death with the sword given him by Father Christmas. Aslan sees another wolf vanishing into a thicket, and sends his followers to trail it, hoping it will lead them to the Witch.

The Witch is preparing to kill Edmund as the rescue party arrives. Aslan and his followers rescue Edmund but are unable to find the Witch, who disguises herself as part of the landscape. Edmund is happy to see his siblings, as he has accepted that the Witch is evil. The next day, the Witch and Aslan speak and the Witch demands Edmund’s life because she says that Edmund is a traitor. The Witch says that according to the Deep Magic of Narnia, a traitor life’s is forfeit to the Witch. Aslan does not deny this, and he secretly reaches a compromise with her. The Witch appears very pleased, while Aslan seems pensive and depressed.

The following night, Susan and Lucy observe Aslan grow increasingly gloomy and sad. The sisters are unable to sleep, and they notice that Aslan has disappeared. Susan and Lucy leave the pavilion to search for Aslan. When they find Aslan, he tells them they can stay until he tells them they must leave. Together, Aslan, Susan, and Lucy walk to the Stone Table, where Aslan tells them to leave. Susan and Lucy hide behind some bushes and watch the Witch and a horde of her followers, torment, humiliate, and finally kill Aslan. The Witch explains that Aslan sacrificed his life for Edmund.

Susan and Lucy stay with Aslan’s dead body all night. In the morning, they hear a great cracking noise and are astounded to see the Stone Table broken. Aslan has disappeared. Suddenly Susan and Lucy hear Aslan’s voice from behind him. Aslan has risen from the dead. Aslan carries the girls to the Witch’s castle, where they free all the prisoners who have been turned to stone. Aslan, Susan, and Lucy charge join the battle between Peter’s army and the Witch’s troops. Peter and his troops are exhausted. Fortunately, Aslan swiftly kills the Witch and Peter’s army then defeats the Witch’s followers.

Aslan knights Edmund, who has atoned for his sin of siding with the Witch. The children ascend to the thrones at Cair Paravel, the castle in Narnia. Aslan subsequently disappears. The children eventually become adults and reign over Narnia for many years. One day, in a hunt for a magical white stag, they arrive at the lamppost that had marked the border between Narnia and our world. The Pevensies tumble back out of the wardrobe to our world. No time has passed, and they return to Professor Kirke’s house as children. The foursome tells Professor Kirke about their adventure, and the Professor assures them that they will return to Narnia again someday.

Childhood and curiosity

The theme of childhood is the most prominent in The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. It portrays how intelligent and curious children can be. Lucy is the youngest child in the story, and she is first to express curiosity about the wardrobe. We often say that curiosity killed the cat. However, in this case, without Lucy’s curiosity and intelligence, the children would never have traveled to the wonderland, Narnia.

Also, this book teaches that positive curiosity can be rewarding and unveil ample opportunities in the world today. We can see a perfect example in Lucy, who is very observant of her environment. With curiosity, she conquers the challenges around and gets the throne at the end.

Curiosity also gives rise to emotional, psychological, social, and health benefits for children and adults. Most parents and teachers avoid some curious questions from kids because they don’t have the answer to them. Sometimes they are also too lazy to find the answer. But this children’s book illustrates that finding solutions or answers to your curiosity can be beneficial. Curiosity makes us survive; curiosity boost achievements, interests, make us develop empathy. It helps improves relationships and helps to improve health care. Without curiosity, there would be no science today. From research, we know that it’s the inquisitiveness of doctors that leads to extensive research on disease and illnesses. So, the book shows that when we are curious, we do our best to keep learning and improve ourselves and others around us.

Compassion and forgiveness

Compassion is having a deep feeling of sympathy for someone in difficult times. It is not just having an emotion of sympathy but also developing empathy for them. Compassion makes you have a good sense of humanity which can enable you to act to alleviate the sufferings of people. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan shows compassion by rescuing Edmund from the white witch who wants to kill him. Edmond had offended Aslan and his siblings in the past, but he was shown kindness and saved from the hands of death.

Aslan puts the past aside and shows great empathy for Edmund. He believes the past should be the past. He is also convinced that Edmund’s life is worth dying for even though he had been grievously wronged in the past. The book teaches us that forgiveness for past mistakes is the only way to mend and heal broken relationships. Forgiveness and compassion are the only ways to strengthen a community and a nation. Aslan was ready to sacrifice his life to save Edmund.

In today’s society, we can show compassion to people in different ways in spite of many issues and differences. We can’t show compassion to all, the scale of poverty is enormous, and we don’t have the resources to save everyone.  However, the moral lesson form the book is that everyone can offer people a chance to survive by becoming a sponsor of at least one orphaned baby. This is an effective way to show compassion to the less privileged. There are lots of ways to show compassion to people and change the world.

Loyalty and Friendship

Though the Oceans are wide and the mountains divide, it’s really a small world. Therefore, we can make it a better place by being friends with one another and have each other’s back. Friendship brings about loyalty and loyalty ensures corporation, understanding, and empathy. If we could see everyone as friends, then there would be no fighting and no wars.

In the book, friendship and loyalty help a great deal. Lucy, Mr. Tumnus, and Faun become real friends and are loyal to each other. Their profound friendship ensures that they are at each other’s back. Without loyalty and friendship, they would have suffered from many terrible events. As an example, Mr. Tunmus refuses to turn in his friend to the white witch even when he knows the dire consequences of doing so. Lucy also gives away the only handkerchief she has. Friendship is also evident when Mr. and Mrs. Beaver lead some children to the Stone Table, where they find Aslan. The book teaches that when you are true friends, you make sacrifices for one another. As an example, Peter Susan Edmund and Lucy are able to make some strategic plans together because they are friends.

Friendship has no boundary, and a smile means friendship to everyone irrespective of color, race, and tribe. Instead of a smile in the book, Beaver shows Lucy a handkerchief as a sign that he is a friend. Lucy also shows loyalty to Mr. Tumnus, which enables other characters in the book to join forces and save Mr. Tumnus.

Friendship can change not just your life but the entire world. With friendship, people can process big thoughts and dreams with you instead of discrimination, violence, and racism. With friendship, people would join forces and fight crimes instead of neglect and marginalization.

Courage

Only the brave hearts would reach the fountain of success. The world is filled with sharks, and we are like a blood-stained prey in the Ocean. Without courage, the great Hammerhead shark would devour us. This is depicted in the book when Peter and Edmund exhibit great courage by translating specific skills into a remarkable act of courage in battles. Without courage, Aslan wouldn’t have been able to save Edmund from the White Witch. Peter on his part, exhibits great valor by killing a gray wolf while Edmund displays his courage by smashing the White Witch wand during the last battle.

In The Lion, Witch, and The Wardrobe, courage is not just how you think but how you behave. It is easy to pretend in one’s mind that you have courage. But how do you behave in the face of adversity? Situations can make you sick, become afraid and despairing, but you can still display bravery.

In the book, Aslan displays great courage which saves his friend from death and ultimately makes him a hero. The book teaches that to be a good leader, you must be courageous. To be a successful student, entrepreneur, or to make decisions; generally, you must have courage.

In 1990 a certain Jeff Bezos quit his lucrative job as the Vice President of the investment firm D.E. Shaw. He founded Amazon and later acquired The Washington Post. His successful business ventures have made him the richest man in the world today, and this is due to his outstanding courage to take bold steps.

Conclusion

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, is a timeless fantasy piece of arts and a must-read for everyone. The classical novel is one of the most popular C. S. Lewis has written.

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