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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Using Archetypal Approach in the Movie)

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a fantasy-inspired story which tells about the experience of the four Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, to discover and live for a period in the world of Narnia. After being evacuated from London during World War II to a country mansion owned by a professor, Pevensies spend some of their time playing, which later on leads them to discovering Narnia. The start of their adventure shows them the land in winter season and being ruled over the dark power of the White Witch. By realizing a prophecy which says that they will be the ones to end the suffering of Narnia under the White Witch’s rule, the Pevensies eventually put themselves involved in the battle. The good takes the win and the Pevensies then return to their real world.

Basically, the story displays various images, symbols, motifs, and other occurrences which hold significant part and meaning to the theme and plot of the movie. These archetypes, as well as the presence of allusions to some Biblical characters and events, give more emphasis and bring substance to the universality of what is being forwarded by the movie. The first archetype of the story is one of its major characters, Aslan itself, who represents a powerful and sacrificial lord. Aslan embodies Jesus Christ as to how he sacrificed his own life for Edmund and his sin and later on came to life through resurrection. On the other hand, the White Witch as another archetype signifies an evil lord, associated with darkness and suffering. Attempting to get the life of Edmund for he sinned as traitor in Narnia is shown as an allusion to Satan and the sinner’s lives being forfeited or surrendered to him. It may seem as a contrast to its common given meaning of purity and goodness, but the white color in the movie is used in its negative sense as a signal of evil or power of enemy (the White Witch and the winter season of suffering).

The river and spring season in the story are also symbols which signal life. The appearance of water in the latter part of the movie indicates rebirth of the land of Narnia. In contrast, the winter season is meant as a period of suffering and death, the Narnia being under the rule of the White Witch.

Other objects which are considered significant archetypes in the movie are the stone table, the wardrobe, the Turkish Delight, and stones. The stone table signifies resurrection of Aslan and is an allusion to stone tablets in the Bible. The resurrection of Aslan gives sense to another hope and life for Narnia. These give more evidence as to how the movie presents Aslan’s life as an allusion to Jesus Christ’s life. The wardrobe symbolizes a bridge connecting two opposite worlds – the real world and the fantastic world of Narnia. The Turkish Delight on the other hand symbolizes desire and Edmund’s tendency of gluttony and fixation to such desire. It also presents another Biblical allusion which is to Adam and Eve’s desire to eat the apple. The presence of stones in the movie serves as a symbol of lifelessness or stillness in Narnia.

The Old Man (or Santa Claus) represents as a help and giver of guidance to the Pevensies as they face battle with the White Witch. Through his gifts (weapons) for the Pevensie children, they were able to use them during the war against the enemy. The Christmas season before spring came also signals hope for Narnia. The chaos/war which appears both in the introduction (WWII setting) and in the latter part of the movie (Aslan’s group against the White Witch’s) also is an important archetype in the movie which emphasizes the similarity or likeness of the situation of the Pevensies both in their real world and in their fantasy world.

The movie in general comes as a representation, through the archetypes, of the Christian legend/story. The opposites among the symbols, images, and events even create a universal picture of the battle between the good and evil forces – which exactly is the main point of the story.

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