The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Summary and Analysis of Chapter 4: Turkish Delight

The White Witch is confused by Edmund, and asks whether he is a "Son of Adam", a "boy", or a "human". Edmund responds that he is a boy, and also a human. The White Witch angrily raises her wand, but then appears to suddenly change her mind, and tells him to sit down beside her. Edmund is disquieted by the encounter, but when the "Queen of Narnia" uses her wand to give him something warm and delicious to drink, and then asks him what his favorite thing to eat is, Edmund begins to feel more comfortable. Edmund tells the White Witch that his favorite food is Turkish Delight, and she presents him with several pounds of the treat in a large, round box tied with a green bow. Edmund begins to eat the best Turkish Delight that he has ever had, but the food is enchanted, and infuses him with an insatiable desire for more.

The Queen takes this opportunity to ask Edmund a series of questions. She expresses interest in the fact that there are four children, and that one has already visited Narnia and met a faun. She insists that Edmund bring his brother and two sisters to her house so that she can meet them. She tells Edmund that she has no children of her own, and that she would like to make Edmund her Prince. One day, she says, he will become King of Narnia. She warns Edmund that he will hear many negative things about her, but that none of them are true. If his sister has met a faun, she tells him, she will undoubtedly have heard many nasty stories about her, but fauns are not to be trusted. She orders Edmund to keep their meeting a secret, and promises to give him more Turkish Delight once he reaches her home, which is located betweeen the two hills in the distance. By this point, Edmund is suffering from an insatiable craving for more Turkish Delight, and asks the White Witch to take him to her house right away, but she tells him that she will not, and leaves.

Edmund is standing alone in the wood, thinking about how badly he wants more Turkish Delight, when Lucy appears. She excitedly tells him how happy she is that he has made it into Narnia, and that there is someone to corroborate her story. She explains that she has been having lunch with Mr. Tumnus, and that he is alright: the White Witch hasn't hurt him. Edmund uncomfortably asks his sister who the White Witch is, and she explains that it is a woman who calls herself the Queen of Narnia, though she has no right to the title, and that she rides in a sledge pulled by reindeer. Edmund says that "everybody" knows that fauns aren't to be trusted.

Together, Lucy and Edmund go back through the wardrobe door. Edmund is worried about telling the others that he has been to Narnia, and Lucy notices that he looks sick.


The White Witch confirms the same three things about Edmund that Mr. Tumnus confirmed about Lucy: Edmund is (1) a boy; (2) a Son of Adam; and (3) a human. The Witch then lures Edmund into conversation in much the same way that Mr. Tumnus lured Lucy: using food. The key difference, however, is that Mr. Tumnus shares the food with Lucy, and gives her information and entertainment in return, thereby establishing a reciprocal relationship between the two. Though both Mr. Tumnus and the White Witch are (at least initially) deceptive about their offerings of friendship, Mr. Tumnus is inherently good, while the White Witch is evil by nature.

When he eats the White Witch's food, Edmund is brought under her power, and experiences a craving for both Turkish Delight and the power that she promises him. The reader is nonetheless aware that once the White Witch's power is destroyed and the enchantment is broken, Edmund will be free from her control.

It is important to note that the White Witch does not partake in the food that she offers Edmund. In fact, the White Witch is never seen eating anything throughout the story, making her seem less than human. She offers Edmund foods of her own creation: a warm drink, and pounds of Turkish Delight. Instead of giving him the sense of satisfaction and contentment that Lucy feels after her meals with Mr. Tumnus, however, Edmund is filled with an insatiable desire to continue eating as much Turkish Delight as he can - an echo of the Witch's own insatiable appetite for power. The reader is, in fact, informed that the enchanted food creates in the eater a craving to consume as much as possible, even to the point of death. This is analogous to the Witch's insatiable craving for power, and foreshadows the fact that her bottomless hunger will bring about her death.

When Edmund first meets the White Witch, he seriously misjudges her character: unfortunately, his initial evaluation informs his later actions. His poor judgment is hinted at by his belief that Lucy has hidden from him in the wood because she is angry: he has a tendency to focus on people's negative characteristics. This seems to reflect Edmund's poor self-image: he appears to be conscious of his own disagreeable nature, and merely assumes that others are equally unpleasant. His evaluations of others are routinely inaccurate: he assumes that the White Witch is good because she has given him delicious things to eat; therefore, he rationalizes that everyone who believes her to be evil must be wrong.

By the time Lucy and Edmund tumble out of the wardrobe, Lucy - and the reader - is convinced that Narnia is a real place. Susan and Peter are thus far unaware of Narnia's existence, though the narrative suggests that the four of them will soon embark on an adventure together.