The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Function of the Secondary World in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis uses a secondary world, Narnia, to convey complex, thought-provoking messages to readers of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. This paper examines the way a selection of Narnia’s key characteristics prompt debates over logic and faith, comment on the nature of spiritual and metaphysical journeys, allow readers to broaden their conception of their own capabilities, encourage new reflection on the story of Christ and help to clarify conceptions of good and evil.

Narnia’s first characteristic of note is the portal through which it is reached – the wardrobe. By connecting the secondary world with the first, ‘real’ one, rather than simply beginning the story within Narnia, Lewis is able to introduce thoughts about truth and rationality. As the first to discover Narnia, Lucy must convince her siblings that the second world does indeed exist. Here, the Professor gives the children a lesson about finding truth in a logical and considered manner:

There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious she is not mad…we must assume she is telling the truth. (p.50)

Lewis suggests that logic and faith are not...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4429 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in