The Symbolism of Turkish Delight in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by Jiyun

In the book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” written by C.S. Lewis, also known as the first movie of the series of Chronicles of Narnia, four children- Susan, Edmund, Peter, and Lucy accidentally walks into a magical land- Narnia. However, before their long journey begins, Edmund, the second oldest of four children, walks into the wardrobe alone for the first time and meets the queen of the Narnia, as known as the white witch. You might think that “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis is just about the battle between good and evil, but actually it is also about betrayal, selfishness, greed, and abandonment.

The white witch at first treats Edmund unmannered and impolitely, as shown on page 40 of the book, “I see you are an idiot, whatever else you may be,” said the Queen. “Answer me, once and for all, or I shall lose my patience. Are you human?”. However, after the queen distinguishes Edmund as a human, she starts being polite and mannerly to Edmund, asking for a hot drink and something to eat.

“It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating,” said the Queen presently. “What would you like best to eat?”
“Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” said Edmund”. When Edmund starts eating, he feels “quite warm and very comfortable”(Lewis, 43). The white witch purposely preferred him to eat because it made it easy for her to get information about Edmund.
“While he was eating, the Queen kept asking him questions. 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, and the more he ate the more he wanted to eat, and he never asked himself why the Queen should be so inquisitive”. Edmund gives all the critical information about not only him- but including his two sisters and a brother, which the white witch determines to kill. She promises him more Turkish Delights for coming back with his brother and two sisters. Later in this book, page 98, Edmund, who could not forget the “magic” taste of Turkish Delight departures for freedom- Turkish Delights. For more Turkish Delights, Edmund abandons his family members who were fighting back for the white witch. By these pieces of evidence from the book, it isn’t hard to comprehend that Turkish Delight represents betrayal, selfishness, greed, and abandonment.

However, numerous people and fans of the Chronicles of Narnia wonder in which purpose Lewis uses precisely Turkish Delight in his book, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.

Turkish Delight- called Lokum originally, which means “comfort of the throat, was considered the luxurious food because of the extremely complex process of making Turkish delight. It takes around 2~3 days to make a Turkish delight. Besides, it had to be imported from Turkey to taste the original, real ones because Western Europeans never succeeded to make a perfect Turkish delight. Furthermore, the appearance of Turkish delights is very snowy- because of the powdered sugar that surrounds the Turkish delight. This snowy look of Turkish delight reminds the readers about the setting of Narnia- the neverending winter and never Christmas, caused by the White witch.

In conclusion, the reason why Lewis uses Turkish Delight is pretty clear- Edmund wanted to ask for the most expensive, luxurious food, the appearance of Turkish delight matched the theme of “always winter, but never Christmas”, and showed the control of the white witch over Edmund. Most importantly, Turkish delight represents betrayal, selfishness, greed, and abandonment.

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