Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blog 2 - Death Imagery in Stone

The imagery of stone throughout The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe symbolizes death. There is no shortage of passages referring to stone in this story, but the most prominent incidents involve death and evil. First, the White Witch kills her traitors and enemies by turning them to stone. For these victims, in light of the Witch’s ruling power, this is an effective death until Aslan returns to Narnia and breathes warm air on them to wake them from their stone deaths.

Another significant image of stone is the Stone Table where the children are to meet Aslan. It does not become clear that the Stone Table is another symbol of death until Aslan sacrifices himself on the Stone Table in Edmund’s stead to the White Witch to appease the Deep Magic. The reveal comes as Aslan has resurrected and explains about the Deeper Magic. “…[W]hen a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards…” (Lewis 185). The cracking of the Table symbolizes the opposite of death, life, and thus the resurrection of Aslan.

Finally, after Aslan relays the history of the Stone Table it becomes significant. “…[I]t as cut all over with strange lines and figures that might be the letters of an unknown language. They gave you a curious feeling when you looked at them” (168). When the Deeper Magic was set before the dawn of time, it is known that the Stone Table, with the ancient etchings that detail the laws of traitors and death and sacrifice, was created specifically for death. The fact that the children are to meet Aslan at the Stone Table foreshadows death, and is not, as the reader might first assume, a place of meeting and deliberation and discussion, as a table would suggest.


Blogger Dale Sullivan said...

I like this tracing of the symbolism of stone. I guess I hadn't realized the connections. Ezekiel says "I will give you a heart of flesh and not of stone."

5:56 AM  

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