The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

1791 Words8 Pages
“‘Then in the name of Aslan,’ said Queen Susan, ‘if ye will all have it so, let us go on and take the adventure that shall fall to us’” (Lewis 187). The act of embarking on adventures serves as one of the foundational elements of all fairy stories. The Pevensie children - Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy - set off on many adventures in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Throughout their adventures they journey to magical lands, some in which animals can talk. During The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the four children become Kings and Queens of Narnia. Their adventures are classified to all readers as fantasy, but only to some as fairy story. J.R.R Tolkien discusses in his essay, On Fairy Stories, the qualifications a story must fulfill…show more content…
The Pevensie children follow this definition as they plunge into their first adventure in Narnia. In addition to his definition, Tolkien discusses the four main qualities a fairy story should offer to readers: Fantasy, Recovery, Escape, and Consolation.
To Tolkien, the term fantasy basically means the act of creating something imaginary and new. He coins this term “the sub-creative art” (Tolkien 8). In his work, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis creates an imaginary world; included in this world is the land of Narnia. The first of the four children to enter this new world is Lucy, the youngest Pevensie child. During a game of hide and seek with her siblings, she ventures into a wardrobe. However, as she crawls her way towards the back, she starts feeling not jackets, but rather branches and trees. When she makes her way to a clearing, she realizes she is in a new place entirely covered in snow. She comes to a lamppost and soon encounters a Faun. The Faun speaks to Lucy and tells her, “This is the land of Narnia...where we are now; all that lies between the lamppost and the great castle of Cair Paravel on the eastern sea” (Lewis 12). The reader, who is also in Narnia for the first time, shares Lucy’s perspective and at this point discovers that it is a world much different
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The “happily ever after” is an ending found in most fairy stories. While not explicitly stated in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, there is a consoling ending. As Tolkien claims, “It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart” (Tolkien 14). Lewis embeds this feature into the battle at the end of the book. Peter’s army has been fighting the Witch’s army and is losing. When it seems as if the battle will be lost, Aslan and his army of newly freed creatures come roaring in. Within moments, the Witch is killed and the battle won. Shortly after, the four children are made Kings and Queens of Narnia. Lewis writes, “Aslan solemnly crowned them and led them to the four thrones amid deafening shouts of, ‘Long Live King Peter! Long Live Queen Susan! Long Live King Edmund! Long Live Queen Lucy!’” (Lewis 181-182). Not only is the reader joyous for the side of good winning the battle, they are also happy to see the four children named rulers. With this cheerful ending, Narnia incorporates the consolation aspect of fairy stories according to the definition of
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