The Silver Chair Imagery

The Silver Chair Imagery

First Glimpses of the Magical World

A blaze of sunshine met them. It peered through the doorway as the light of a June day pours into a garage when you open the door. It made the drops of water on the grass glitter like beads and showed up the dirtiness of Jill's tear-stained face. And the sunlight was coming from what certainly did look like a different world - what they could see of it. They saw smooth turf, smoother and brighter than Jill had ever seen before, and blue sky, and, darting to and fro, things so bright that they might have been jewels or huge butterflies.

This passage describes the children's first peek through the entrance to the Other World and it is automatically so much brighter and more beautiful than the depressing place they are running from. They know it is the other world because even though it is just on the other side of the gate and should look the same as what is on their side, it is completely different; the sunshine is overwhelming indicating a heavenly environment and the presence of butterflies shows that it is a place of delicate beauty and also spiritual rebirth.

Jill Flying Over Narnia

It was Noises. Up till then, she had travelled in total silence. Now, for the first time, she heard the noise of waves and the crying of seagulls. And now, too, she smelled the smell of the sea.

In describing Jill's impressions of her journey to Narnia the author is playing to our senses of hearing and smell rather than our vision. The sounds come suddenly for the reader just like they do for Jill. We are able to imagine the sensation of the sea and also this paints a picture of a coastal town rather than the land of Narnia that is more other-worldly.


There were so many things to notice that she could hardly take them all in; a smooth, green lawn, a ship so brightly colored that it looked like an enormous piece of jewelry, towers and battlements, banners fluttering in the air, a crowd, gay clothes, armor, gold, swords, a sound of music. But this was all jumbled.

This picture is a cacophony of the senses and like Jill the reader is struggling to take everything in. The overall image is one of a model village seen all at the same time, and of a glorious kingdom preparing for a celebration, with gold and flags as well as people in costumes that are clearly for special occasions. This introduced us to the place as somewhere rather spectacular.

King Caspian's Castle

On the far side of the lawn, its weather vanes glittering in the light, rose a many-towered and many-turreted castle; the most beautiful castle Jill had ever seen. On the near side was a quay of white marble and, moored to this, the ship; a tall ship with high fire-castle and high poop, gilded and crimson, with a great flag at the mast-head and many banners waving from the decks, and a row of shields, bright as silver, along the bulwarks.

The castle and the ship are clearly decked out in ceremonial finery but this is actually their appearance all of the time. Like everything in Narnia the castle and ship seem to glisten and shine and there are many images of gold and silver as well. The overall image painted by the author is one of resplendent beauty and an amazing array of colors.

The Queen Becomes A Serpent

Her arms appeared to be fastened to her sides. Her legs were intertwined with each other, and her feet had disappeared. The long, green train of her skirt seemed to be all one piece with the writhing, green pillar of her interlocked legs. And that writhing green pillar was curving and swaying as if it had no joints, or else was all joints. Her head was thrown far back and while her nose grew larger and longer every other part of her face seemed to disappear, except her eyes. Huge, flaming eyes they were now, without brows or lashes.

This image of the Queen's metamorphosis back to her real self, a serpent, is very detailed and this seems to add to the ferocity of the image that is created. Although the images are mostly visual the reader is able to imagine the horrible sounds that would accompany each change that she makes. The serpent's eyes burning almost creates a feeling of fire and paints also a picture of evil with a big green serpent whose eyes are like hellfire. The greenness of the Queen is also emphasized and the detail emphasizes how frightening the vision must be for the children watching it happen.

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