The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe Symbolism

Instructor: Lindsey Hays

Lindsey has taught Elementary Education, Spanish immersion, and ESL. She has a MS in Elementary Education with a BA in Spanish.

C.S. Lewis uses symbolism in 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe' to tell more about the story than what meets the eye. Let's look at some important symbols in Narnia to help us better understand the deeper meaning that Lewis intended.

Symbolism in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Have you ever tried to make up a secret code with someone? With a secret code, you can share messages without writing or reading them in regular language. Symbolism in literature is similar to a secret code. A symbol is when an author uses an object to represent deeper meaning in the story. As readers, we can be detectives and look for 'secret codes' behind these symbols.

In this lesson, we will try to decipher what C.S. Lewis really wanted to say in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, beyond what is right in front of our eyes.

Places in Narnia

The lamp-post is like the children's 'compass' in Narnia. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy use the lamp-post throughout the story to find their way home. At the end, when they see a 'pillar of iron with a lantern set on the top thereof' (Chapter 17), they have forgotten the real world, so they don't recognize the lamp-post. The image of the lamp-post reminds them of what once was, and they feel drawn to follow it. Suddenly they follow it back into the real world, and the lamp-post has served as their 'compass' back home.

The lamp-post symbolized direction and finding their way home.

Winter in Narnia symbolizes death, since it is always winter when the White Witch reigns. Then when the snow begins melting, it is clear that the spell is fading and Aslan has returned. Spring in Narnia symbolizes life and the restoration of goodness to Narnia through Aslan's return.

Spring symbolizes new life in Narnia.

Cair Paravel is located in the farthest east of Narnia. It symbolizes a 'holy' place. The prophecy claimed that the White Witch would be destroyed when two Sons of Adam and two Daughters of Eve sat on four thrones at Cair Paravel. It is close to the sea, so it is close to the Emperor-of-the-Sea, a symbol for God. Cair Paravel symbolizes connection between Narnia and God.

Christian Symbols

Since C.S. Lewis was a Christian, he wrote several Christian symbols into his books. These are just a few of the Christian symbols in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

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