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Why does Edmund lie about Narnia?

PostPosted: May 15, 2018 4:11 pm
by Valiant_Nymph
I was rereading LWW, and I found something confusing. Lewis tells us that Edmund lies to Peter and Susan about having gotten into Narnia (in his first entrance, where he met the White Witch), because he didn't want to admit that Lucy was right. But isn't it also counterproductive to his goal of getting all of them back to the Witch so she can make Edmund a Prince? There was no reason to think they'd all get in eventually, so he was kind of blowing his chances of getting them all to her by lying.

It seems even more complicated when they all get into the Wardrobe when hiding from the Macready, and Edmund is eager to get out before the others realize it is a magic wardrobe. The movie takes a different approach on this point, and shows Edmund actively encouraging the others to get into the wardrobe (which seems to make more sense if he wants to get back to the Witch).

Anyways, just curious if anyone has any thoughts on this point.

Re: Why does Edmund lie about Narnia?

PostPosted: May 16, 2018 8:13 am
by aileth
Perhaps the power of the Turkish delight was less noticeable outside the wardrobe? But even then, did Edmund maliciously plot to falsify Lucy's statement? I doubt that; spiteful, yes, but scarcely deliberate. It seems more likely that it was a symptom of his inner condition at the time--the lie appeared reflexive and (somewhat) involuntary--not the first one by any means.

We have to remember that he was in a muddled, resentful state and had been for a considerable time (as mentioned when Lucy administered the cordial). At core, he was not a thorough cad; once he had repented and been redeemed by Aslan, he was restored to what he ought to have been all along.

Re: Why does Edmund lie about Narnia?

PostPosted: May 17, 2018 3:42 am
by King_Erlian
I think part of the reason why Edmund lied to Peter and Susan is because the portal to Narnia had closed at this point and they all saw the back of the wardrobe. So it was clear that they weren't going to get into Narnia right there and then, and for all Edmund knew, the wardrobe might have sealed itself off for ever and any return to Narnia would have been impossible. If Edmund had been thinking that, his disappointment that he wasn't going to become a prince after all might have kicked him into doing something spiteful; also, if the "wardrobe adventure" was truly over, he probably thought it would be best to deny any knowledge of it to his elders rather than have them think he was mad. Add to that the fact that he was feeling pretty sick after all the Turkish Delight and his mood would definitely have been pretty sour.

It's also possible that he was actually rather frightened of Jadis, despite the sweets and the promises, and was afraid of encountering her again; so when they were hiding from the Macready, he didn't want to risk getting into Narnia again.