Turkish Delight in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe

Instructor: Christine Quist

Christine has taught 4th-5th grade, has worked as a Paraprofessional for Adult Learners, and has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Education.

What is the perfect meal? Pizza? Fried chicken, maybe? What would you do if you could have that perfect meal every day? In this lesson, we'll see how Edmund did some pretty bad things for his favorite food--Turkish delight.

Where does Turkish Delight Come in?

Turkish delight is included in the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis when Edmund Pevensie follows his sister Lucy through the wardrobe. Edmund loses his sister in the confusion of walking through what he thought was a closet into a new magical land. He is then discovered by the evil White Witch.

The White Witch
Snow Queen

Edmund and the White Witch begin talking, and she becomes really interested when he mentions being a human like you and me. The White Witch has evil plans for the four children who are said to become the rulers of Narnia. This is because she rules Narnia and doesn't want anything to change. She offers Edmund anything he wants to eat, and Edmund asks for Turkish delight in exchange for him bringing his siblings to her once they get to Narnia.

What is Turkish Delight?

Turkish delight is a candy that is made up of starch and sugar--kind of like a gumdrop dusted with powdered sugar. Some common flavors are rose water, lemon, and orange.

We're not sure what flavor Edmund's Turkish delight was, but in chapter four of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, it is described like this: 'a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.'

Rose Flavored Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight

The True Meaning of the Turkish Delight

After finishing the box of Turkish delight, Edmund instantly wants more! This is not just because the candy is delicious; it's also because the food has been enchanted to make him want to eat it forever. The White Witch did this so that Edmund would be desperate, or willing to do anything she asks, for more. The White Witch used Edmund's craving, or hunger, for the magical Turkish delight to get him to betray his family, or put them in danger for his own benefit, by bringing them to her.

Edmund sees how his decisions to go after Turkish delight could have led to him losing his brother and sisters, and he feels terrible. Edmund's punishment for betraying his brother and sisters is death. However, instead of Edmund dying, Aslan, the great lion, steps up and takes the punishment himself. Aslan did not do anything wrong, but he was the one who died for Edmund.

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