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C. S. Lewis’ Symbolism, Development And Morality In The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

2298 words - 9 pages

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis employs symbolism, development and morality. He uses symbolism as a driving force throughout the novel. Without the use of characters similar to Christian figures, Lewis’ series would lack a sense of meaning. His use of these figures evokes a sense of wonder in the reader and encourages them to continue reading. Lewis uses development throughout The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a means to create vivid and more impressionable world. He uses morality as a means for rallying the reader behind a character, inspiring them to continue to support them though the story. These three elements work harmoniously to establish a novel that contains literary depth and meaning.
In all novels, symbolism is a key element that authors use to heighten the literary merit of their writing. In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis uses symbolism as a driving force throughout the series. Without the use of characters similar to Christian figures, Lewis’ series would lack deep literary meaning. The wide variety of symbols and literary devices used in these books successfully evoke deep thought and inspires readers to analyze the work further.
Lewis uses many different forms of symbolism throughout The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In this story there is a character named Aslan. Aslan is a lion whose purpose in the novel is to serve as an allusion for Christ. Aslan and Christ share many traits; they are both self-sacrificing and compassionate individuals (Dunham). Not only are these two figures characteristics similar, their actions are also parallel. Edmund, one of the four children in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, betrays his siblings and allies himself with the White Witch. Much like the serpent who tempts Eve in the book of Genesis, the White Witch tempts Edmund with food that makes anyone who consumes eternally desiring more (Lewis 19). When Aslan liberates Edmund later in the story, the White Witch claims that Edmund’s life rightfully belongs to her and seeks to take his life. Aslan freely chooses to sacrifice himself in the place of Edmund (Lewis 77). This is very much akin to what Christ does in Christianity, dying for the sins of everyone.
To illustrate further Lewis’ Christian symbolism, it is possible to interpret the White Witch as a personified example of Satan. In the book of Revelation, found in the Christian Bible, Satan rules over all the Earth before God comes to take all His followers to Heaven. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch has claimed to be the rightful ruler of Narnia in Aslan’s absence (Lewis 17). DuPlessis discusses the White Witches use of magic to control the weather in this quotation; “In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch practices a particularly environmental form of evil, controlling the inhabitants by making it ‘always winter but never Christmas’” (DuPlessis).
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