The Silver Chair Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    The Narnia Chronicles are believed to be allegorical stories that relate to Christianity. What are some of the ways in which this could be true in The Silver Chair?

    There are many allegorical characters in this novel. Aslan appears in the novel again, as he does in all of the Narnia chronicles, and he is believed to be allegorical of the creator of the world, having created Narnia from nothing. He now guides the Narnians and is categorically the representation of right and goodness. He also gives tasks to many of his "children", for example, giving Jill the task of looking for the words written in stone. This task could be an allegory of the task given to Moses by God in the Old Testament; in order to free his people he sees God's commandments on stone tablets, and leads his people to freedom. This is similar to the way in which the people of Narnia are lead to freedom from the evil Queen by the words that are written on the stone tablets that Jill and Eustace are told to locate. Throughout the novel, and the entire series of chronicles, children are referred to as 'Daughter of Adam" and 'Daughter of Eve" which signifies that they are humans descended from Adam and Eve in the story of the creation. The serpent is the embodiment of evil and of temptation as it is able to become something beautiful in the form of the Queen in order to captivate and enchant people into following the path of evil instead of the path of good. This is allegorical of the serpent in the Bible who tempts Eve into disobeying God.

  2. 2

    What are some of the qualities that make Jill and Eustace perfect for their appointed task?

    Eustace has been to Narnia before and in that time showed himself to be a skilled warrior and also a good and courageous strategian, and his experience of both the place and his allegiance to Caspian are very necessary in order for their task to succeed. He has also shown that he is capable of change and is now a champion of the bullied instead of a hanger-on with the bullies. Jill is a brave and courageous girl whose main attribute for the task his her keenness to leave the school grounds and escape her tormentors. She is also very logical and comes up with some of the better reasoning and planning ideas in the group. Both children follow instructions well, are essentially obedient, and understand the importance of doing what they are told, and also of having faith that what they are doing is the right thing to do. If they were argumentative children, or members of the group that bullied others, they would not have the right character to complete the task in hand.

  3. 3

    How does the Evil Queen exert her power over others?

    The Evil Queen exerts her power chiefly by using enchantment, a dangerous form of magic. For example, in trying to capture Prince Rilian she knows that she must somehow captivate his attention and she does this by turning herself into the most beautiful woman who ever existed; clearly she would only capture his attention in a negative way to herself is she showed herself to him as the serpent she really is as he would kill her right away. She continues to exert her power chiefly by keeping him away from anyone else who might tell him differently; she does not let anyone see his face which will enable her to keep him captive without anyone trying to help him escape. She argues logically at the times when her power is waning and needs "refreshing" and convinces him that she is of course right and that he is just not feeling well. She also uses the fire to control people's thoughts by making them sleepy, leaving them less ability to resist her, and then by suggestion, so that they are unable to fight off her influence and become enchanted themselves.

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