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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Voyage and Return

Anticipation Stage and 'Fall' into the Other World

Lucy finds a way into the magical world of Narnia through the wardrobe.

The "fall" into the other world happens in stages in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. First Lucy finds her way through the wardrobe and meets Mr. Tumnus. When she tries to show Peter, Susan, and Edmund the way to Narnia, though, it has disappeared. Some time later, Lucy and Edmund both get there, but again the gateway has disappeared by the time Peter and Susan are there to check it out. Finally all four children are transported together, and the adventure can really begin.

Initial Fascination or Dream Stage

Lucy meets a Faun named Mr. Tumnus and Edmund meets the Queen of Narnia. The four children are amazed by their fantastic journey and the existence of this strange other world.

At first, the children seem to be having little mini-adventures, meeting a mythical creature here and an impressive Queen there. This world has talking animals, sentient trees, and an everlasting winter. It's weird and wonderful.

Frustration Stage

Edmund allies himself with the evil White Witch, who pursues and persecutes his brother and sisters. Peter, Susan, and Lucy are forced to flee, seeking the protection of the unknown Aslan.

When the White Witch hears about their presence, the four children are suddenly in grave danger. They are thrust right into the center of prophecy and politics, becoming figures of hope for the people of Narnia – but their lives are in peril!

Nightmare Stage

The White Witch claims the right to sacrifice Edmund, and Aslan goes in Edmund's place.

Although all four children can tell that something is going terribly wrong, they don't know that Aslan is planning to give his own life in place of Edmund's. When Lucy and Susan witness Aslan's death, it seems like everything is lost.

Thrilling Escape and Return

With the help of the resurrected Aslan, the children defeat the White Witch and become kings and queens. After ruling Narnia for many years, they are suddenly transported back to England, where they become children once again.

Unlike other "Voyage and Return" stories, this one doesn't mix the "Thrilling Escape" with the "Return." The Pevensie children are able to triumph over evil without running away back to their own world. Instead, they enjoy a long period of happiness and prosperity in Narnia, before one day finding themselves back in England. They have lived whole lifetimes in Narnia, growing up and becoming adults, and now they are suddenly children again. Have they really changed during their experience? Well, you'll have to read the next book, Prince Caspian, to find out!

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