“Read Between the Lines”
Dr. Don W. King wrote “Narnia and the Seven Deadly Sins,” an article stating that each of the seven stories of Narnia represent one of the seven deadly sins. In his article, King stated that the novel The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe could easily be found to represent the sin gluttony. Many quotes from the text can be used to show that all or most of the seven deadly sins can be directly represented as well.
The first and most clearly represented sin is gluttony. Early in the text, Edmund finds himself with an uncontrollable desire for Turkish Delight. This example of gluttony is represented many times in the text. On page 38, Edmund’s desire takes control of him when he thinks “…only of trying to shovel down as much Turkish Delight as he could, and the more he ate the more he wanted to eat…” This is the first time you see Edmund’s glutton for the magical food. His allowance of self-indulgence makes him weak and vulnerable to the strong suggestions of the White Witch. His gluttony of the Turkish Delight turns to greed and lust when it is completely eaten.
With the lack of Turkish Delight, Edmund’s addiction is left hungry. His hunger for this “drug” turns quickly into greed and lust. On page 39, Edmund begins to lust for the only thing that will satisfy his hunger, Turkish Delight. This section of the text, “At last the Turkish Delight was all finished and Edmund was looking very hard at the empty box and wishing that she would ask him whether he would like some more,” shows the magnitude of Edmund’s addiction for the Turkish Delight. At the moment the box is emptied, Edmund’s sins transform from an overindulgent gluttony to a thought-controlling lust. The lust for this treat drives and controls Edmund’s actions. His judgments are made with the same hopeful final results in mind; becoming a powerful king with a belly full of Turkish Delight. Soon his thirst for Turkish Delight is accompanied equally by his thoughts of power. With the White Witch’s promise of princehood, Edmund’s thoughts become even more clouded than before. Edmund demonstrates his greed for sole power on page 41 when he says, “There’s nothing special about them…I could always bring them some other time”. Them being, his brother and sisters of whom his wishes to share none of his newly promised treasures. Edmund goes on and on reaching for any possible excuse to exclude Peter, Susan, and Lucy from his involvement with the White Witch. Controlled by his greed for power and his lust for Turkish Delight, Edmund becomes distance and unfocused. Edmund’s lust is demonstrated one more time in the text when he leaves in the night to go to the witch, in turn betraying he group. On page 91 Mr. Beaver says, “He’s gone to her to the White Witch. He has betrayed us all.” In this quote he refers to Edmund, and Edmund has betrayed them all because of his lust. Overtime his lust has grown strong for the taste of the wonderful Turkish Delight and has deluded his judgment about the intentions of the White Witch.
Another sin that can be found represented in the book is pride, though not as prominently demonstrated as greed, lust, or gluttony. At one point in the story Edmund seems to be too proud to admit he has been wrong. Lucy had met Edmund in the wardrobe and this finally gave her proof of her discovery. As shown in this quote, ”…Edmund had been feeling sick, and sulky, and annoyed with Lucy being right…he decided all at once to do the meanest and most spiteful thing he could think of. He decided to let Lucy down” (48), when confronted about what he had seen, his pride took over and he decided he was too proud to tell the truth.
A more easily found and more often represented sin is anger. The main focal point and basis for most of the anger representations come from the evil White Witch. On numerous occasions she showed her ability to use anger to her advantage. On page 123 the White Witch displays her anger toward the children when she says, “…and kill whatever you find there…. You may overtake these humans before they reach the Stone Table. You will know what to do if you find them!” She then shows her hatred for Aslan when she whispered in his ear,
“And now, who has won? Fool, did you think that by all this you would save the human traitor? Now I will kill you instead of him as our pact was and so the Deep Magic will be appeased. But when you are dead what will prevent me from killing him as well? And who will take him out of my hand then? Understand that you have given me Narnia forever, you have lost your own life and you have not saved his. In that knowledge, despair and die” (170).
Through these two sections of the text, the anger of the White Witch is well represented. It is humorous how the witch goes from utter fear of Aslan to the typical villainous confidence and anger.
Gluttony, greed, pride, lust, and anger are all sins represented in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Dr. Don W. King’s research found gluttony to be the primarily represented sin. This can be proven to be true, but one can also find evidence of the rest of the seven deadly sins in the book to counter this claim. Without argument, gluttony is easily the most commonly found sin represented in the text, but almost equally found is greed, anger, and lust. The only sins not clearly located in the text are envy and sloth.