The Chronicles of Narnia is one of the most popular kids ‘s phantasy book series today and has therefore received non merely broad congratulations and critical acclamation but besides unfavorable judgment in many countries and one of such unfavorable judgments are it ‘s supposed anti feminist positions and word pictures. Philip Pullman, writer of His Dark Materials trilogy criticized the plants of C. S Lewis, as monumentally belittling of misss and adult females. In the same position, J.K Rowling, writer of best-selling Harry thrower series commented that in The Chronicles “ There comes a point where Susan, who was the older miss, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lip rouge. She becomes irreligious fundamentally because she found sex ; I have a large job with that ”[ 1 ]It is really true that C. S Lewis was in no manner a feminist author and the Chronicles were ne’er meant to laud above others any female character. What his critics neglect to reference are the strong word pictures of the human values and qualities of unity, forgiveness, religion, bravery and unconditioned love through the female characters ; Lucy Pevensie, Polly Plummer, Jill Pole, and Aravis.
Lucy who is one of the female supporters in the Chronicles depicts what is nice and good in all human sort. She is the youngest of the Pevensie kids and the first to detect Narnia. What she sees in Narnia is charming and awakens in her a sense of escapade and tests her religion and belief in a universe really different from her ain, a universe that is plagued by war and devastation. Her pureness allows her to believe in the thaumaturgy of Narnia a symbol of hope and what basically humankind can be even when Edmund denied its being. Lucy possesses a spirit of escapade and is highly open-minded. She can besides be seen as a symbol of bravery and doggedness.
In ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ‘ , when Father Christmas tells her and her sister, Susan that they are non to be in conflict, because “ conflicts are ugly when adult females fight ”[ 2 ]Lucy responds to him stating “ I think I could be brave adequate ”[ 3 ]. It is subsequently revealed to us in The Horse and his Male child that she fought courageously in many wars and was ‘as good as a adult male ‘ ( happen commendation ) and this must hold been why she was known by her people as “ Queen Lucy the Valiant ”[ 4 ]. She hence proved Father Christmas ‘ earlier statement of conflicts acquiring ugly when adult females fought, incorrect by contending and lasting. Her brevity was besides displayed in The Ocean trip of the Dawn Treader, when Lucy was needed to travel and undo the enchantment for the unseeable work forces. She defies their protests, telling them non to seek and halt her, despite the hazard of confronting a really powerful prestidigitator, who we find out nevertheless, to be Aslan. She is besides really forgiving and true. In The Ocean trip of the Dawn Treader, when Eustace is down with mal de mer, Lucy forgives his rude and acrimonious behaviour towards her and uses her affable to bring around him. She is therefore portrayed as greathearted and mature for her immature age.
In the same book, through her apposition with a ship which is described as being ‘a beauty of her sort ‘[ 5 ]with ‘her lines perfect ‘[ 6 ]and ‘her colourss pure ‘[ 7 ], it seems to be Lucy, instead than the ship, who is being described here. Lewis therefore, through Lucy, portrays a pureness that endures all and that which all human sort should draw a bead on to.
Polly another female character is non afraid of her muliebrity and is interested in ‘girly ‘ things, such as apparels. When she foremost entered the room full of people turned rock, Polly showed an involvement in the apparels, noticing that ‘any one of these apparels would be 100s of lbs ‘[ 8 ]. She is therefore cognizant of her muliebrity and is non afraid to encompass it. However this is non all there is to her. Polly is besides depicted as a leader. She portrayed this leading when she told Digory non to pealing the bell, stating that they did non desire any danger. When it was insinuated that she was scared, she regarded Digory with much assurance, stating to him ; ‘I ‘ll travel anyplace you go ‘[ 9 ]. She therefore exudes much assurance, independency and bravery.
In additon to her courage and daring, Polly possesses other admirable qualities, such as sensitiveness and family. When Digory asks Aslan for a remedy for his female parent, Aslan gives Strwaberry – the Cabby ‘s former Equus caballus – wings and orders him to transport Digory and wing to the the garden, Polly asks Aslan for permission to attach to him, herewith demoing her trueness to Digory, despite their junior-grade dissensions.
Aravis is besides a major female character in the 6th book of the series, The Horse and his Boy. She is from the land of Carlomen. Aravis is in all senses of the word, resilient. She is from a land where females are a minority and are forced to get married work forces against their free will. When she is forced to get married Ashoshta Tarkaan, she runs off from her male parent and her land, to her friend, Lasaraleen, seeking safety and protection. She is besides non the stereotyped adult female at that topographic point and clip ( Calormen ) . Aravis was a adult female who ‘had ever been more interested in bows and pointers and Equus caballuss and Canis familiariss and swimming ‘[ 10 ], unlike her friend, Lasaraleen, who was into ‘clothes and parties and chitchat ‘[ 11 ]. She therefore Rebels against her civilization and her household, in order to accomplish felicity and freedom. Through her actions, Lewis points his readers towards his message that world has power to influence or even alter its fate because above all creative activity they have been blessed with a scruples.
It should noted that even in portraitures where female characters have been depicted negatively, Lewis does win in conveying his intended and elusive messages of: salvation, forgiveness, bravery and Good versus Evil as being one of the of import external human battles on Earth. His word picture of the ‘White Witch ‘ , ‘The Green Lady ‘ ( Emerald Queen ) , Queen Jadis believed to hold been the White Witch in a old life as symbols of immorality is converting and stating of how evil can take on the most attractive signifier. This is contrary to the common belief that that which represents immorality must be dark and horrid to lay eyes on.
Lewis depicts this subject and message through the villainesses in Narnia, the White enchantress and The Green lady ( Emerald Queen ) . The White Witch foremost introduced in the first novel, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the first scoundrel of Narnia that the reader brushs but she is non explored in deepness. The most the reader can comprehend is that she is powerful, evil and beautiful. Lewis describes her as a “ great lady ”[ 12 ], holding “ a beautiful face in other respects, but proud and cold and austere. ”[ 13 ]Another, interesting item nevertheless, is her line of descent and this gives the reader penetration into who the white enchantress truly is. She is of Lilith a fabulous animal, who was Adam ‘s first married woman. George Macdonald, a strong influence on Lewis ‘s work, describes Lilith as “ radiant in her perfect form ”[ 14 ], likened to the enchantress, her girl, who has a beautiful face.
Harmonizing to Macdonald, Lilith takes the signifier of a white leopard sometimes and is besides cold to touch. This resembles Lewis ‘s description of the enchantress as being covered “ with white pelt up to her pharynx ”[ 15 ]and environing herself with ice and snow. Her word picture in white portrays her as deceptively Godhead and pure. It is this delusory visual aspect and seductive nature that lures Edmund into her trap. She subsequently triumphantly declares, refering Edmund ‘s life ; “ He belongs to me as my lawful quarry ”[ 16 ]Therefore in actuality, the White Witch is evil and impure, hence through her visual aspect which could besides be considered as a stereotype definition of beauty Lewis conveys to the reader the elusive warning that visual aspects can be delusory.
Queen Jadis, who is the scoundrel in The Magician ‘s Nephew, is believed to be the White Witch in an earlier clip. Lewis besides uses the complexness of her character and beauty to efficaciously convey his message about the nature and signifier of immorality. She is described as possessing an awe inspiring beauty for is “ seven pess tall and dazzlingly beautiful ” ( 72 ) . Digory is of the sentiment that “ In all his life, he had ne’er seen a adult female so beautiful ” ( 52 His uncle ‘The Magician ‘ excessively is captivated by her beauty, burying how awful she had been to him and ‘thinking more and more of her fantastic beauty ‘ . ( ) To Uncle Andrew, she was so beautiful that he kept mumbling to himself “ A dem all right adult female ‘ ( 73 ) in mention to the Queen. In his head, he even had expansive ideas of come ining a relationship with the ‘Superb Creature ‘ ( 73 ) and this shows the sum of power her beauty had on him.
This beauty merely perceived by males is “ terrorizing ” ( 80 ) and harmonizing to Lewis, the Queen possessed a signifier “ ferocity ” ( 80 ) and “ abandon ” ( 80 ) . Through this complex word picture of the brilliant power of seduction, Lewis alludes to the original wickedness committed by adult male when he falls quarry to the seductive power of the snake. Another strong message depicted in his plants.
In Narnia, Queen Jadis eats the out fruit and this lengthens her yearss and she additions ‘unwearying strength and eternal yearss like a goddess’. ( 162 ) . She so proceeds to convert Digory to take a bite, or travel and give his female parent, instead than giving it to Aslan. She seduces Digory, perforating into his bosom and talking sweet words to convert him to move as she wants. In the terminal, Digory does non fall for this enticement and he flies back to Aslan. However, through this episode, the reader is made cognizant of the fact that every one is finally responsible for their picks between being good or evil.
Apart from the enchantresss, Lewis besides introduces another female scoundrel into the universe of Narnia, known as the ‘Green Lady ‘ . The Green lady is the Villainess in The 6th book of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Silver Chair. She is foremost depicted as the enchantress who kills the King Rilian ‘s Mother, in the signifier of a snake. She is associated with a serpent here and thereby can be described with its properties, cunning, slithery and lifelessly. Her Emerald coloring material depicts her covetous and collusive nature. The coloring material viridity besides ironically signifies life and this is used to lead on Rilian- the crown prince.
The first clip the Green lady appears in her human signifier, Rilian sees her and depict her as the “ the most beautiful thing that was of all time made. ”[ 17 ]It is evident here that the prince Rilian has fallen under her enchantment, much like Uncle Andrew in The Magician ‘s Nephew. The Lord Drinian, who is older, more mature and more experienced, besides notices her distinguishable and brilliant beauty. He nevertheless seems to be immune to her seductive powers because although he remarks that she was ‘The most beautiful lady he had of all time seen ‘[ 18 ], ‘It stuck in Drinian ‘s head that this reflecting green adult female was evil. ‘ Her seductive powers are one time once more seen in full force when she appears to the kids, Eustace, Jill and Puddleglum. Here non merely her physical visual aspect, but her idiosyncrasy as good capture the kids. Her address is described as being ‘as Sweet as the sweetest bird ‘s vocal ‘ and her frock, which was a ‘fluttering frock of dazing green ‘[ 19 ]enraptured the kids, apart from Puddlegum, who ‘s misanthropic behavior kept him safe from the Witch ‘s powers. It is therefore of import to observe here that this is a Christian fable and the femme fatale represents immorality, which takes the signifier of the snake in the Garden of Eden. In the concluding battle between the Emerald queen and the kids, Lewis depicts his message of every human being ‘s responsibility in the ne’er battle against immorality and that was to defy evil and believe in the good in others.
Apart from his word pictures of Evil Magical female supporters, Lewis ‘ critics have besides highlighted his word pictures of Susan one of the human characters as being male chauvinist. Susan is ab initio depicted as being spirited and possessing a legendary art at archery. She is besides the defender to a charming horn which a symbol of hope. She is farther trusted by the Christ like Aslan crowned Queen of Narnia by him. She subsequently becomes known as ‘Queen Susan the Gentle ‘ . The period of their reign is considered the Golden Age of Narnia a analogue to that of Queen Elizabeth I in which England witnessed epoch of spiritual tolerance. In ‘The Horse and His Boy ‘ , she refuses to conform to the gender stereotype that every Queen needs a King when she rejects Prince Rabadash ‘ proposal of matrimony. Her determination proves the right 1 as the Prince subsequently revels his unreliable nature by plotting to occupy Narnia. Susan besides portrayed as the voice of cautiousness and common sense and begins shows vacillation in respect to their actions.
As their escapades take them off from the topographic points they know she becomes more cautious and bemused with physical comfort. Of all the Pevensies, Susan who is a female parent figure is most content in places of easiness and comfort, and tends to rede the others to avoid anything unpleasant. Edmund even subsequently describes her as “ a moisture cover ” . As she becomes progressively self absorbed, the reader begins to experience that Susan has so lost her religion and belief in the fact that they can so prevail over immorality. Even when Susan seems lost for of all time and it is implied that she will no longer see Narnia there is a message of hope for salvation here for the reader as writer Paul F. Ford writes in his ‘Companion to Narnia ‘ , in a footer that, “ This is non to state, as some critics have maintained, that she is lost everlastingly… It is a error to believe that Susan was killed in the railroad accident at the terminal of ‘The Last Battle ‘ and that she has everlastingly fallen from grace.
It is to be noted that even in this ‘fall from grace ‘ and preoccupation with her personal image there is hope that she will work through her quandary and in the procedure, alteration to go genuinely the soft individual she has the potency for being. ” Thus it is of import to understand that Lewis ‘s determination to except Susan from the existent Narnia was non based on the sexist impression that she had become a ‘silly female ‘ . He uses Susan ‘s quandary to stand for the doomed Christian, who has seen existent grounds of God but decides to abandon Him for more secular things and, which in this instance, is represented by Lipstick. Her terminal could besides be interpreted as a clip for a new beginning and alteration.
In decision, to latch on to the mere actual word pictures of female characters and how they are portrayed in the Chronicles of Narnia would normally weaken and get the better of the exclusive intent of Lewis ‘ elusive messages of good and evil and the world ‘s topographic point in the universe. Just like the male characters, the female characters win in uncovering to the reader what is good and what is non in all of us.