Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Exploration

By C.S. Lewis


Chapter 1
Lucy Pevensie

Lucy felt very frightened, but she felt inquisitive and excited as well. She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree-trunks, she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out. (She had, of course, left the door open, for she knew that it is a very silly thing to shut oneself into a wardrobe.) It seemed to be still daylight there. "I can always get back if anything goes wrong," thought Lucy. (1.25)

Lucy balances her desire to see what's out there with her instinct to remain safe by keeping the wardrobe door open – literally maintaining the connection between the unfamiliar and the familiar.

Peter Pevensie

"Not for me," said Peter, "I'm going to explore in the house."

Everyone agreed to this and that was how the adventures began. It was the sort of house that you never seem to come to the end of, and it was full of unexpected places. (1.19-20)

Even though the children become confined to the house, they find out that staying inside can offer just as many opportunities for exploration as going out.

Susan Pevensie

"It's an owl," said Peter. "This is going to be a wonderful place for birds. I shall go to bed now. I say, let's go and explore to-morrow. You might find anything in a place like this. Did you see those mountains as we came along? And the woods? There might be eagles. There might be stags. There'll be hawks."

"Badgers!" said Lucy.

"Snakes!" said Edmund.

"Foxes!" said Susan. (1.12-15)

As soon as the children arrive at the Professor's house in the country, they are excited about the possibility of exploring the wilderness around them. What they don't realize is that they will be exploring a wilderness – but in a completely different world.

Chapter 5

This house of the Professor's—which even he knew so little about—was so old and famous that people from all over England used to come and ask permission to see over it. It was the sort of house that is mentioned in guide books and even in histories; and well it might be, for all manner of stories were told about it, some of them even stranger than the one I am telling you now. (5.46)

The tourists who come to see the Professor's famous house function as a subtle foil to the children who explore the same territory. The tourists only see what they expect to find based on their guidebooks, while the children find much more.

Chapter 6
Lucy Pevensie

The coats were rather too big for them so that they came down to their heels and looked more like royal robes than coats when they had put them on. But they all felt a good deal warmer and each thought the others looked better in their new get-up and more suitable to the landscape.

"We can pretend we are Arctic explorers," said Lucy.

"This is going to be exciting enough without any pretending," said Peter, as he began leading the way forward into the forest. (6.21-23)

Lucy, the youngest, is still ready to treat Narnia as a child's adventure game, but Peter has realized that they are starting off on a much more important quest.

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