The Corruption and Redemption of Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

The Corruption and Redemption of Edmund Pevensie in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

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The youngest Pevensie brother, Edmund, is the mischievous child among his siblings in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He is a representation of the possibility of what can go wrong when a child is not properly taught and does not follow set boundaries. Edmund’s subversion of set standards is the cause of a great deal of the troubles the Pevensies face in Narnia. For example, when he goes to the White Witch’s castle instead of listening to the others when they say Aslan is the true leader. In order to redeem himself, he must first be renewed and return to an earlier state. He is not allowed to stay indignant, but is reformed when he learns that Aslan is really the true ruler, and Jadis is not. He is allowed to do so because of his status as a child who is still developing. Edmund’s corruption and later redemption show that he is not really wicked, but has an innate goodness.
Edmund does not always remember all of the rules he is supposed to follow. When the White Witch gives him the enchanted Turkish Delight,“At first Edmund tried to remember that it is rude to speak with one’s mouth full, but soon he forgot about this and thought only of trying to shovel down as much Turkish Delight as he could” (38). The Turkish Delight has negatively affected him and is part of the reason he loses his manners. When he starts to speak with his mouth open, he has lost his manners and his awareness of his self. This is due, partially because he is possessed by the Turkish Delight. Edmund is also young and perhaps is not as imbued with etiquette as he would be if he were an adult. The idea that, “The child imagines that he suffers with the hero his trials and tribulations, and triumphs with him as virtue and is victorious” (Bettelheim, 9) s...


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...c child who is an innocent and has no place in the world of the wicked. His troubled self’s resolution comes at the end after Edmund has spoken to Aslan, the true ruler and god of Narnia. Both Edmunds own initiative and, less directly, religion lead Edmund back to before he was spoiled by the school he went to and the enchantment of the witch’s candy. Lewis therefore is following the Romantic tradition of innocence as a part of childhood since it was not Edmund’s fault he performed the incorrect behavior and was drawn to the side of evil.



Works Cited

Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Vintage, 2010. Print.
Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. Print.
Morgenstern, John. "Children and Other Talking Animals." The Lion and the Unicorn 24.1 (2000): 110-27. Print.

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