Who do the children in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe symbolize?

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rmhope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To answer this question, it is important to understand that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is not an allegory. That means there is not a consistent one-to-one correspondence between certain characters and certain historic figures or abstract concepts. Still, readers can often recognize such similarities even when they are not completely consistent. In that way, one can see some symbolism  in the characters of the story. The strongest symbol is Aslan, who because of his cruel death as a sacrifice for Edmund, seems to represent Jesus Christ, who was crucified to redeem sinners. With that in mind, we can consider how the children relate to Aslan and identify some symbolism. Edmund, the one who betrays his siblings and Aslan by giving allegiance to the White Witch, represents sinful mankind who has wandered away from God and needs redemption. Although there are biblical characters who we might associate with Edmund--for example, Thomas, who doubted, and Peter, who denied Christ--those analogies don't hold up that well. Lucy and Susan, who comfort Aslan and stay with him during the night before his death, can symbolize Jesus' disciples who prayed with him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Lucy, who is the first to meet Aslan after he comes back to life, could symbolize Mary Magdalene, the first to see Jesus after the resurrection. And Peter, who leads the battle against the forces of the White Witch, representing Satan, could symbolize the Christian who puts on the "whole armor of God" and fights the powers of darkness with the sword of the Spirit, which the Bible says is the Word of God. These are some possible ways to view the children as symbols. 

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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