Gender Roles in Narnia

Topics: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Susan Pevensie Pages: 4 (1659 words) Published: October 16, 2010
Regarded as one of the most beloved children books of the twentieth century, C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has found its way into the prolific canon of British literature and into the hearts of both children and adults alike. Published in 1950, this tale of a frost-bitten wood, fauns, and other fantastic events is masterfully written to appeal to all ages. Set during World War II in England, four children are sent to live with an old professor in a mansion in the English countryside. The scenery soon changes as a retreat into a mothball-infested wardrobe magically transports them into a world beyond the farthest reaches of their imaginations. As they learn of the plights of the many oppressed woodland creatures in this wonderful land called Narnia, they too begin to see the evils of the White Witch and her rule over a land cursed to be “always winter but never Christmas” (20). The adventures that ensue prove to change the course of Narnia for all time, as they await the arrival of the true ruler of Narnia, a great lion named Aslan. Though this novel includes mythical creatures and the inclusion of children as main characters, the Christian undertones are relatively overt throughout the tale. These significant topics are found alongside both Jewish and Islamic influences as well. These characteristics, among many others, establish this novel as something much deeper than an ordinary fairy tale. Mature audiences can appreciate this novel as a moralistic tale meant to touch on many aspects of society and the human nature itself. One of the most important trends that is found within the novel is the treatment of both sexes in terms of the overall plot and characterization that takes place during the children’s stay in Narnia. Lewis employs the use of stereotypical traditional roles of both men and women in society as well as a more dynamic approach to the subject of gender in Narnia; yet it would be much more effective to attribute a more...
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