Study Guide

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Man and the Natural World

By C.S. Lewis

Man and the Natural World

Chapter 2
Father Christmas

"Why, it is she that has got all Narnia under her thumb. It's she that makes it always winter. Always winter, and never Christmas; think of that!" (2.39)

The Witch's power disrupts the symbiotic relationship between the natural rhythm of the seasons and the man-made rhythm of holidays like Christmas.

Chapter 3

What made it worse was that these days ought to have been delightful. The weather was fine and they were out of doors from morning to night, bathing, fishing, climbing trees, birds' nesting, and lying in the heather. (3.21)

All four of the Pevensie children enjoy the outdoors, but their pastimes range from simply enjoying the outdoors – bathing, climbing trees, lying in the heather – to disrupting it – fishing and birds' nesting.

Chapter 9
Edmund Pevensie

It was pretty bad when he reached the far side. It was growing darker every minute and what with that and the snowflakes swirling all round him he could hardly see three feet ahead. And then too there was no road. […] In fact I really think he might have given up the whole plan and gone back and owned up and made friends with the others, if he hadn't happened to say to himself, "When I'm King of Narnia the first thing I shall do will be to make some decent roads." (9.5)

Edmund nurtures his grievances and his bad mood by indulging in an industrial fantasy of taming the Narnian countryside.

Chapter 10

It would have been a pretty enough scene to look at it through a window from a comfortable armchair; and even as things were, Lucy enjoyed it at first. But as they went on walking and walking – and walking – and as the sack she was carrying felt heavier and heavier, she began to wonder how she was going to keep up at all. (10.20)

The long trek that Lucy, along with Peter, Susan, and the Beavers, must endure through the woods reminds us that the natural world is harsh and unforgiving; it might be picturesque for a little while, but it demands rigor and toughness from travelers.

Chapter 11

And soon Edmund noticed that the snow which splashed against them as they rushed through it was much wetter than it had been all last night. At the same time he noticed that he was feeling much less cold. It was also becoming foggy. In fact every minute it grew both foggier and warmer. And the sledge was not running nearly as well as it had been running up till now. (11.22)

When Aslan begins to break the spell of the Witch's winter, it becomes more difficult for her to move around the land, even from a simple logistical standpoint.

Chapter 16

The courtyard looked no longer like a museum; it looked more like a zoo. Creatures were running after Aslan and dancing round him till he was almost hidden in the crowd. Instead of all that deadly white the courtyard was now a blaze of colours; glossy chestnut sides of centaurs, indigo horns of unicorns, dazzling plumage of birds, reddy-brown of foxes, dogs, and satyrs, yellow stockings and crimson hoods of dwarfs; and the birch-girls in silver, and the beech-girls in fresh, transparent green, and the larch-girls in green so bright that it was almost yellow. And instead of the deadly silence the whole place rang with the sound of happy roarings, brayings, yelpings, barkings, squealings, cooings, neighings, stampings, shouts, hurrahs, song and laughter. (16.6)

As Aslan revives the people and creatures who have been turned to stone, the narrator contrasts the unnatural stillness and silence of the man-made (in this case Witch-made!) museum with the jolly movement and laughter of living people in nature.

Chapter 17

And through the Eastern door, which was wide open came the voices of the mermen and the mermaids swimming close to the castle steps and singing in honour of their new Kings and Queens. (17.18)

One of the things that makes Cair Paravel so like paradise is the integration of civilization with nature. The mer-people can come right up to the steps of the palace, and there is a sense that inside and outside converge.

Susan Pevensie

The children were walking on hour after hour into what seemed a delicious dream. Long ago they had left the coats behind them. And by now they had even stopped saying to one another, "Look! There's a kingfisher!" or "I say, bluebells!" or "What was that lovely smell?" or "Just listen to that thrush!" They walked on in silence drinking it all in, passing through patches of warm sunlight into cool, green thickets and out again into wide mossy glades where tall elms raised the leafy roof far overhead, and then into dense masses of flowering currant and among hawthorn bushes where the sweet smell was almost overpowering. (12.1)

Peter, Susan, and Lucy have an innate appreciation for the beauties of nature.

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