Chapter Six – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Chapter Six is titled: Into The Forest.
Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

It is a most wonderful experience, as a reader, when we are allowed to watch a beloved character head towards (unbeknownst to them) a delightful experience that we, the audience, are aware of. And here, CS Lewis provides us with that as two new characters are introduced to the land of Narnia!

Susan and Peter are our main focus in the opening paragraphs, as all the Pevensie children enter into the wardrobe. They feel cold and wet. They discover snow. And Susan finds she is sitting by a tree! We know what they have found, and we are so glad to have them there! But someone is not. Edmund speaks once in this first scene, and what he says is only fully understood by ourselves and Lucy.

“Let’s get out,” said Edmund, “they’ve gone.”

I am glad they ignored him. I am also glad for Mr Lewis’ writing here. He exercises the rule of showing, not telling, because Edmund – the beast, as Peter soon calls him – does not feel as we do about Narnia. Already he has a sickening feeling towards that magical land of Narnia that shall only grow as the story continues.

“I apologise for not believing you,” he said, “I’m sorry. Will you shake hands?”
“Of course,” said Lucy, and did.

I have three points that I wish to bring before you from this extract:

My first is that Peter is strong enough of a leader to apologise. He does not ignore Lucy out of cowardice, and nor does he pretend to have forgotten that he disbelieved her story. Displaying natural leadership, he bows to his mistake and shakes hands. Thus, affirming his acceptance that a misdemeanour has occurred and displaying his wish that it has a positive resolution.

Secondly, Lucy accepts his apology. She does not stand all high and mighty, demanding that he owe her more than a forgiving handshake. She kindly, gently, and immediately accepts his proposal.

Finally, I return to a hypothesis that I previously made in my first essay back at the opening chapter of this book: “Does Lewis write his character Lucy as a reflection of his goddaughter, or what he wishes she would become/learn?” The hypothesis now leads me to this: “Can we learn from each of Lewis’ characters individually?” For me, the answer to such a question is yes, most definitely, and I hope I can make that clear as I progress through this book.

Oh dear Edmund! What a blunder you have made!

“I say,” began Edmund presently, “oughtn’t we to be bearing a bit more to the left, that is, if we were aiming for the lamppost?

This then leads to the others realising he has indeed been to Narnia before and Peter calling him a poisonous little beast. Then Edmund does something that shows how far he has gone into his anger, self-pity, and selfishness. He hates them more for telling him he has done wrong. Such a strange thing to do I think, yet people do this quite often, because they feel the ones telling them off are stuck up – as Edmund says. Mostly they are not stuck up, but they have a strong sense of morals (be it correct or not).

What a terrible sight for Lucy as she comes to Mr Tumnus’ house, or what is left of it. A friend’s house. Her only Narnian friend. And he is gone. Taken by the Secret Police (which clearly denotes evil to our modern eye, and is a parallel to the SS that was active in Nazi Germany during the time this book was set – World War Two). She must have felt lost, heartbroken, and (as is shown) guilty.

The final point that I want to make from this chapter is at the very end where Edmund takes Peter aside and speaks into his ear. Some of it is good counsel, but it is all said in a wicked tone and leads to Edmund sowing doubt – which thankfully does not take seed. There are those who will speak good things to you in this world, and mix in a little bad so as to slip it past you unawares. Listen carefully and be cautious.

Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with Chapter 7 next week when we’ll meet the Beavers. Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies

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Chapter Five – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe Chapter Five, titled: Back On This Side Of The Wardrobe. In this short piece I write on Edmund’s cruel deceit, Peter and Susan’s paternal-like behaviour, and a point towards the author’s writing.

Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

Poor, dear Lucy. She is so excited upon her and Edmund’s return from Narnia, and she stands aghast – unable to speak – as he denies the existence of the world he has only just stepped out of. What a terrible slope he now finds himself on! He denied clear truth, so that he might (instead of all the siblings enjoying the world together) receive pleasure by cruelly bringing tears to Lucy’s eyes. Peter is correct to admonish him for this behaviour, but perhaps not as harshly as he does. We shall see a development of his character in a later chapter to do with this specific moment, when Aslan himself is present.

Throughout this day, Peter and Susan are displaying more and more fatherly and motherly qualities towards their younger siblings. They lead, reprimand, care for, and stand by them. Specifically, in this case, they stay up quite late discussing what they should do about Lucy and her (from their view) imagined land. Finally, they agree – with Peter leading – that they should seek help from an older, and wiser man; the Professor is sought out.

The Professor is a kind, old man and when they bring their concerns and their story before him, he sits and listens patiently. He lets them finish speaking to entirely and then spends further time dwelling upon what they have said. Only then does he begin digging deeper into the problem in front of them all. He takes their concerns as highly serious things, and this is something I feel that we all can learn from. If it is worrying someone then it is no small matter, irrespective of what we ourselves feel towards the thing. So, we should take care and spend a sensible amount of time thinking on each problem placed before us. Those who need advice can learn here too; from Peter and Susan’s example. Seek advice from those who have walked longer paths than you.

During the considering of this problem concerning Lucy we come across an intelligent lesson in logic from our author, CS Lewis (in case anyone has forgotten). It focuses finally, at the end, on the logical thought of children. Children, when creating an imagined world, can come up with things incredibly quickly – having been one myself and imagined many different worlds and creatures I know – but Lewis is entirely correct in what he says, because of the depth and detail of Lucy’s tale and the time she spent away.

Now are two things which the Professor says that make me chuckle. The first I can imagine all parents or grandparents saying at some time:

“I wonder what they do teach them at these schools.”

The second is when he ends the conversation thusly:

“We might try minding our own business.”

And though I laugh at this rather humorous line (especially after the build-up it received) it does have a sounding of truth to it. Sometimes the best thing that we can do is to leave something well alone. As a Christian I would say have faith for Romans 8 verse 28 says:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Finally in the last section of the chapter, we read of Mrs Macready and her tours. This is simple, smooth writing from CS Lewis. He believingly pushes the children back into the wardrobe – as if moving them there with his author’s hand – and, as we see in Chapter Six, all of them into Narnia. Oh, Edmund, how far you shall yet fall!

Thank you for taking the time to read my little writings. Feedback is greatly appreciated and will be read and digested. I’ll be back with Chapter 6 in one or two weeks time (I can’t decide at this moment in time) when all our Pevensies enter into Narnia! Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies

Chapter Four – The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

Here we are at the beginning of chapter four, and we have in front of us the most evil character we shall find in all of the Narnia books: The White Witch. In this short essay I shall attempt to show why we believe that CS Lewis wrote her character as the Devil. There shall be a couple of KJV Bible verses pointed out; to show where he might have looked to for guidance on this character, so for this chapter you shall need your copy of The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, and The Bible (you can download a KJV as an app).

Without further ado, on we go; into the land of Narnia.

On the very opening page of this chapter we find several reasons already to point to why readers have compared her to Satan. The first are her harsh, cruel words which are spoken to Edmund. For example:

“I see you are an idiot, whatever else you may be.”

Disregarding his confusion and anything else he may have in ways of positive characteristics, she verbally lashes out with an insulting comment on his intelligence, putting him down. This shows murder of character, an attribute not just of the Devil, but of any fallen being.

Secondly, we find out, on the very same page, that she has some form of plan that can be wrecked by Edmund. Later we find out exactly what this plan is. Her words “this may wreck all”show us, coupled with how she then proceeds, that although she may heighten herself to Aslan’s level, it is a lie. The Witch is not omnipotent, omniscient, nor is she omnipresent. This reflects Satan’s bid to level himself with God (as seen in 2 Corinthians 11 verse 14), but, despite his attempts, he falls on all those points also, and it is a height that he knows he shall never achieve.

Finally from just this page, we see

“her eyes flaming; at the same moment she raised her wand.”

In these words we see that there is great intent to harm. Coupled with “he is easily dealt with.” we see the calmness of her majesty when she is about to commit murder. She has moved from a lashing tongue to a lashing sword, and feels no qualms about this. This should remind us of Peter’s warning of The Devil in 1 Peter 5 verse 8.

But,

“just as he gave himself up for lost, she appeared to change her mind.”

Here we should take note of her sudden change of plan concerning Edmund. It is a sly manoeuvre indeed. Threatening to kill him, so showing her strength, but then holding back and offering (as we shall see) a ‘loving’ hand. Slyness has been known to be used by Satan since the Garden: Genesis 3. The Witch continues to speak “My poor child”. A child, we must remember, who one moment ago was an idiot to her. “I will put my mantle round you and we will talk.” An offer of companionship, company, and care. The poor boy then “sat at her feet” as one might do before a great teacher. It is a sign of worship, respect, and attention. He submitted himself to her. Edmund should have refused this offer, but we can’t think too little of him, after all, he was only just threatened with death, so he is rather shaken.

Turning over the pages there are even more instances that we may compare The Witch to The Devil. Here in these few quotes we see offerings of material pleasures that ensnare Edmund “like best to eat” “she knew…that this was enchanted”, a desire by The Witch to glean a much knowledge in any way possible “he never asked himself why the Queen should be so inquisitive”, her forcing information from him “ she got him to tell her”, and (once the information is taken) the falling of the pretence of her monarchic title “forgetting to call her ‘Your Majesty’, but she didn’t seem to mind now”. I shan’t go into detail on these points, because if I did they would treble this writing’s length and I would begin to repeat myself on many a thing.

The wicked words and ways continue till The Witch offers Edmund his heart’s desire: power far above his brother, Peter. First, though, he must bring his siblings to her, so they may be made Duke and Duchesses – which Edmund does not like the sound of, for when you have found something like this and you are selfish you never want to share.

She parts from him with these words almost as her last “you needn’t tell them about me.” She knows they will discover one way or another that she is wicked, so, seeking to hide this, she gives the pretence that it is a game. In a similar way, Satan whispers into minds that this life is just a game, and we should have no other thoughts than that of fun and frivolity. Though there is nothing inherently evil about fun, it is wrong to direct our lives entirely towards selfish ambitions of want and desire for this world.

Edmund then meets Lucy in Narnia! This should have been a wonderful joy to them both, but (as we discover) he is feeling uneasy in his stomach and about the ‘friend’ he has made there. So much so that he puts Lucy down when she talks of the Fawn describing The White Witch as a “perfectly terrible person.” By writing this in CS Lewis has foreshadowed what will happen later in the book with Edmund’s betrayal, because he hates having to admit he is wrong:

“Edmund secretly thought that it would not be as good fun for him as for her.”

So, I hope I have covered the subject matter in this chapter well enough in the short writing I have put before you, that it may be profitable and interesting. Feedback will be read and digested. I’ll be back with Chapter 5 in two weeks time when the two children return to the real world and their elder siblings. Till then:

Best wishes,
Andrew Davies