Exchanges in a World of the Fantastic

Casey Lieb '07 English 65, Fantasy, Brown University, 2004

The inverted reality of adult and child is formulated in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. At the start, the children are presented as skeptical, suspecting their sister of madness, while the adult, the professor, is as trusting in other worlds as a child:

"Logic!" said the professor half to himself. "Why don't they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn't tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad. For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth . . . "Well sir if things are real, they're there all the time. . . . are they?" [52]

1. What was the reasoning behind the choice of a professor as a source of magic and mystery in the real world? Why make the children so doubtful of magic in the world when usually children believe in it the most?

2. The set up of the sentence is that of analysis, similar to that which a professor would use, yet the subject matter goes against the commonly held idea of logic. Why is that?

3. What is the significance of the children taking on the adult job of ruling Narnia: "Long live King Peter! Long Live Queen Susan! Long Live King Edmund! Long Live Queen Lucy!" [199]

4. Is there significance in the structure of the sentence describing Aslan? "Do you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion -- the Lion, the great lion."


Lewis, C. S. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins, 1950.

Victorian Web Overview C. S. Lewis Victorian courses

Last modified 16 February 2004