Sexism In The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe

990 Words4 Pages
The Man, the Bitch, and the Closeted Sexism The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a wonderfully imagined novel that the author, C.S. Lewis, wrote for his goddaughter Lucy. He aspired to incorporate many elements that little girls like Lucy, in particular, would find intriguing, such as the compelling beauty of the wood inside the wardrobe, the magnificence of the characters in it, and the great significance of relationships between family and friends. He even named the young protagonist Lucy. However, by focusing on his intention to enchant her, Lewis also negligently integrates sexist attitudes and stereotypical gender roles into the tale. This invites little girls and little boys to personify the roles that society enforces upon them.…show more content…
The men in the novel always feel superior to the women and so, they obtain the more powerful roles while the women are assumed to abide by and admire them. They are perceived as strong and brave. The women are weak and inept. For example, Peter was always taken as the leader, the one who is trusted to lead the others. Edmund embodied the ultimate male trait – aggressiveness – which he uses to menace his siblings. Susan, on the other hand, who was sensible and intelligent, was seen as a nag by her brothers. And finally, Lucy was always treated as delicate and overly-emotional by the characters in the novel. This stereotyping leads children to think that as boys, they must be almighty and dominant over girls, who must be kind, gentle, and subordinate to them. Gender roles are also introduced by Father Christmas. He further exemplified the sexual discrimination found in the novel by presenting the four Pensive children with gender-biased gifts. Peter was given a sword and shield because he is a man, while Susan was given a bow and arrow that “does not easily miss” (152) and a horn to call for help. This implies that a woman cannot possibly be able to fight or defend herself without the help from an enchantment or from others (probably males). Lucy, too, is given a small dagger and cordial of healing juice because Lewis implies that she, as a girl, should be a caretaker, not a fighter. And although Lucy insists she could be brave enough to fight in the war, Father Christmas, in all his male supremacy, dismisses her, saying, “… battles are ugly when women fight” (153). As children, it is important to understand that they are not defined by what society interprets as masculine or feminine. Children develop their personalities based on their environment. When their environment, like this book, tells them to be aggressive and confident or submissive and docile,
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