The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

C. S. Lewis, his worlds, and his faith.

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The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby narnian1 » Sep 21, 2009 7:10 pm

LWW- (the first book),
Lucy is the first to enter Narnia, as we all know. She enters through the wardrobe and finds herself in the woods, in the middle of winter. There she sees a lamp post and wonders why there'd be one in this place.

MN- (the sixth book),
We found out in this book that the Lamp Post came about when Jadis used a crossbar to throw it at Aslan trying to kill him though it had no affect. Later this same crossbar grows, making it the very same lamp post Lucy first saw when she entered Narnia.

I was listening to a podcast that I just got through iTunes, from 2007.
In it the speaker was giving an explanation to why Lewis probably used it. He stated:

"It, (the lamp post), was first used as an instrument for evil by Jadis to kill Aslan but was transformed by the magical power of Narnia and it received life and grows into a guiding light that illuminates the world and helps people to find their way."

and then he goes on comparing it to two biblical events:

1. Moses,
When they are attacked by the venomous snakes and many died,
God told Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole so that anyone who is bitten may look at it and live. In this case, the symbol of a snake was changed from death to life, evil to good.

2. The Cross,
Instrument of torture that is used to kill Jesus, but the Gospels testify how life is stronger than death. After the resurrection that same cross becomes a symbol of Christ, the light of the world.

I thought that was very interesting. I had never thought about it in that way.
The podcast ended saying that those pieces of scripture might have been Lewis's inspiration, all that is clear is that the Lamp Post is no ordinary lamp post.


What say you all?
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Sep 22, 2009 7:44 am

I'm not sure. Lewis had the idea of the lamppost in the woods long before he thought of its being used by Jadis. He probably just tried to come up with a way for a lamppost to grow in Narnia. ;) I hadn't really thought of it showing people the way before but I guess in a way it helped Lucy find her way back from Narnia and also the others later on. In a way, it could also show that they evil in Narnia started from that area and part of the cure also came from that area. That could be seen a long the same line as the snake. (The cure didn't really come from the bronze snake but was part of the solution and God was the rest. The children were part of the solution but they couldn't have done it without Aslan).
Personally, I think most of this lies with reader interpretation and that Lewis was simply trying to tie up loose ends from LWW in MN.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby daughter of the King » Sep 24, 2009 12:45 pm

It's a very interesting idea. I don't really think C.S.Lewis had that symbolism in mind, but I can see how someone could have come up with that.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 25, 2009 12:34 pm

Pattertwigs Pal wrote:I hadn't really thought of it showing people the way before but I guess in a way it helped Lucy find her way back from Narnia and also the others later on.
I think this is an interesting idea. What is the purpose of a lamp or lamppost? To give light! When we are first exposed to spiritual light, to Jesus, what happens? That light exposes our heart and character. It shows us who we are. If we go toward that light in obedience, God gives us more light. If we run away from it, we continue to walk in darkness. I think this is what happens to Lucy and Edmund. Lucy goes from the lamppost to Tumnus and finally to Aslan. She obeys and walks in the light she's given, so Aslans leads her finally to himself. Edmund, however, goes from the lamppost to the White Witch. He disobeys the light he's given and goes from being an ornery brother to a traitor. His deeds become darker. Only Aslan can rescue him. Remember the Pevensies' reaction when Mr. Beaver mentions Aslan? All but Edmund find comfort. ;)

Who is the Light of the world? Jesus Christ, the living Word. God's Word is a "lamp unto [our] feet and a light unto [our] path" [Psalm 119:105]. This Word is also a mirror of the soul [James 1:22-25], just like light.

Proverbs 6:23 wrote:For the commandment is a lamp and the law is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

John 3:19-21 wrote:And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Ephesians 5:13 wrote:But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light, for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.


Pattertwigs Pal wrote:In a way, it could also show that they evil in Narnia started from that area and part of the cure also came from that area. That could be seen a long the same line as the snake. (The cure didn't really come from the bronze snake but was part of the solution and God was the rest. The children were part of the solution but they couldn't have done it without Aslan). Personally, I think most of this lies with reader interpretation and that Lewis was simply trying to tie up loose ends from LWW in MN.
I agree with you about the bronze serpent parallel. But I think narnian1's example about the cross was interesting, too. It reminded me of what Joseph said to his brothers after their father Jacob died. "You thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" [Gen 50:20, KJV]. :)
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Believer » Sep 25, 2009 2:54 pm

We'll never know exactly what Lewis's inspiration for creating the lamp post was. It is an interesting parallel, though, whether or not he intended it.
There's always the possibility that even though Lewis was just trying to tie up loose ends, God was tying His story into Narnia.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby 220chrisTian » Sep 25, 2009 4:07 pm

Believer wrote:We'll never know exactly what Lewis's inspiration for creating the lamp post was. . . .There's always the possibility that even though Lewis was just trying to tie up loose ends, God was tying His story into Narnia.
Good point! We'll never know. But trying to figure stuff out or make sense of something is still a learning experience for me. ;) And I like that: "God was tying His story into Narnia." :)

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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby TheGeneral » Oct 02, 2009 12:31 pm

It can represent whatever you want it too. But I tend not to think about symbols or representations. I just read a fantasy story and let it take me in, and the emotions that result are the true messages meant to be received I think.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby aslansothername » Oct 02, 2009 1:49 pm

I think that it is a good allegory that we can take from the book, but I don't see Lewis using the lamppost on purpose for thoughts reasons narnia1.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Peepiceeka » Oct 18, 2009 3:56 pm

The lamp post element could be thought of as a Beacon of Light perhaps. True, Lewis might have not intended for those allegories to be in the book, but since he was such a devoted Christian, it probably just made its way into it, without him realizing it. ;)
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby jesusiskingofkings » Nov 01, 2009 9:45 am

James Chapter 1
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

God in the bible is the "Father of lights"

Psalm Chapter 119
105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path

The word of God is our light here on earth while we wait for the Rapture. (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18).

But then when we are in Heaven Jesus the Lamb is the light. In Revelation 21:23-25.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
In Narnia Aslan of coarse is the light of that world. The lamppost obviously is as old as Narnia if not older. Remember it came from a lamppost from our world.

Just like Jesus came down from Heaven (His world) and dwelt among men. So too this post came from another world and dwelt among the Narnians.

Notice in the in the book the Last Battle, everything that was good in the old Narnia is in the new Narnia except the lamppost.

I think that this is deliberate.

The lamppost resembles the old system. In our the old system would be the curse that is on all of mankind SIN. When the New Heavens and the New Earth are made their will be no curse there. See Revelation 21-22. Also in 2 Peter Chapter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

I think that in the New Narnia that Aslan makes the lamppost is not their. (If it is, then please correct me and point me to the page and text where it says in the Last Battle the lamppost is still their).

They (the characters) mention all of the other things that were good in the old Narnia still being in the new Narnia, but never once do they mention the lamppost.

My theory on this is that the lamppost represents two things. One, the old nature of things. That would be sin and death. Two it also represents a choice. You have two choices to do the right thing and go to Aslan or go the other direction and go to the White Witch. Either way you will end-up meeting Aslan. You will either bow to him now, willingly or reluctantly but you will bow.

Here on earth we all have a choice. You will either choose life or death. You will either choose Jesus or yourself. Jesus says that to follow Him, we must die to ourselves daily, take-up our crosses, and follow after Him. Paul in Romans Chapter 12:1 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
Lewis may not have ment for any of these things for the lamppost. But like Tolkien, I too like applicability. How do we apply the themes and the messages that do come through the stories into our own lives? I think that in the case of the lamppost you have to look at through four characters. Jadis, Uncle Andrew, Edmund, and Lucy.

Jadis used the lamppost to do evil. She used it in our world to hurt people with and threaten people with. And in Narnia she tried to kill Aslan with it. I think that in a way the lamppost can also represent the word of God, the Church, and religion. I think that Jadis represents the people in the church today that all they do is go around ripping people down. They critize everything. These are the Pharisees of Jesus' day. I know of a church here in Fort Lauderdale that is almost 60 years old, just had a church-split because one side wanted to sing and play contemporary Christian music, and the other wanted to play and sing traditional music. Both sides were at fault, because their own selfish desires got in the way of what true worship is and means. These are Jadis's.

Then you have Uncle Andrew. He saw the lamppost as an opportunity for monetary growth and success. You have Christians out their today that preach and teach this prosperity gospel and it makes me sick. They come with coning words, and good messages and they sound good and look good, but in their hearts all they care about is fame, wealth and them selves. They see the word of God as a tool to make more money with and they see the people of God as dollar signs instead of people. These are Uncle Andrews.

Then you have Edmund. He sees the lamppost, looks at it in amazement, and still goes the other direction. He did not go into Narnia with a pure heart, he was trying to spy on his little sister Lucy, and instead of meeting Mr. Tumnus he meets the White Witch. He then betrays Mr.Tumnus and Lucy, and latter the rest of his family along with the Beavers. He latter learns the hard lesson, of love and humility, but not before Aslan has to die for him so that he does not have to die himself. In the church today you have Christians that I call well intentioned fire breathing dragons. Edmund did not mean to harm his family all he wanted was Turkish delight and to be valued by someone. Some Christians want to serve and do things for God, but they do it for the wrong reasons. The do them to get noticed, and to look good in from of others. They are alway trying to out do someone else. Usually the elders of the church see this and the lovingly ask him to step down and to get his life right, and they try to help him, but instead of choosing to change he reacts in a bitter, angry and selfish manner, and usually ends up isolating himself from others. And so they run to those that will accept them and use them to do all sorts of things, and usually they tend to be the worng things. Edmund did this very thing he the attention that he needed from the white witch. Allot of believers still live as if they are not wanted and valued by God. And yet we know that’s not true at all. Jesus died for them, created them and chose them. Many people in the church know God as Savior but not as a loving friend or Father, and so their identity is still not yet in God mentally and emotionally and yet realistically it is in God. Just like Edmund he did not feel loved by his brother or sisters and yet they did love him very much. Of coarse in the end Edmund does realize how much Petrer, Susan, Lucy and Aslan do love him. Aslan died for him, and Lucy saved him from death.Susan killed the dwarf Ginnabrick for him and Peter cried for him. Edmund also reafirms it to Peter when he tells Peter that he to believes in him. What a true sign of a changed heart. And we see that changed heart in Prince Caspian when he votes to go with Lucy, we see it in the Horse and His Boy when he rides in and saves Archenland from Rabadash, we see it the Dawn Treader when he forgives Eustace, and we see it in the Last Battle when he arrives as a mature King of Narnia and enters in to the new Narnia. And for Edmund it all started back with a lampost.

Then you have Lucy. Lucy goes into Narnia as an innocent child, and meets Mr. Tumnus. Who tried to betray her, and she still forgives him, and latter meets the Beavers who tell her about Aslan and then meets the fox, who tells her more about Aslan, and then meets Father Christmas who gives her the gifts and tells her more about Aslan and then she finally meets Aslan. Lucy is the kind of person who when she hers the truth accepts it.She is also seeking for the truth. Mr.Tumnus plants the seed; the Beavers and Mr. Fox water the seed. Father Christmasreaps the harvest when Lucy accepts the gifts that Father Christmas gives her freely and then she finally meets Aslan and willingly bows in submission to him. And then we see here live the rest of her life in Prince Caspian, the Horse and His Boy, the Dawn Treader and the Last Battle. She never loosed her faith in Aslan, she is always looking for him, and never hesitates to run up to him and hug him. She talks with him as if though he was her best friend and still reveres him as if he was her father and king. Lucy is not perfect, and she does mess-up sometimes, but hear heart is true and is in love wither her king, father and friend Aslan. There are people in the church today just like her. They tuely love God, the serve Him whenever possible, they are not afraid to approach Him, no matter the circumstance and they are always seeking for and accepting the truth no matter how hard it is to accept. I think that this is why we all love Lucy, especially we Christians. We all desire in some way that same innocence, that total sold-out love for God, that faithful servant’s heart that never dies that ready to hear the truth and change when asked to. We want to have that kind of relationship with Christ.

I can go on and talk about Susan and Peter, but I do not have time. Well I hope you all enjoy this post. God Bless and,

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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby RoseRed » Dec 28, 2009 7:28 pm

personally I don't believe Lewis was influenced by either story, + I reckon the lampost is certainly comparable to the cross, but for me, what the lampost represents most clearly is faith or belief. it's something that 'lights the way', marks the entrance to narnia, I reckon it's significant that it's the first thing lcy really sees about narnia (apart from trees) and that it's there she meets tumnus. since MN was written after LWW, I don't think there is must significance in Jadis's involvement with how it cmae to be, it's more a clever explanation of how it got there, but does lend it to being compared to the cross. a symbol of hope and faith that started as an attack by the enemy that aslan turned for good? :-\ just some thoughts ^_^
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Aravis Narnia » Dec 29, 2009 6:02 pm

I think it can be a symbol of a few things:

- a guiding light
- life being created
- something distinctive about Narnia
- approval of fantasy and sci-fi being fine for Christians
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Lamppostshines! » Dec 29, 2009 8:27 pm

I like the idea that the Lamp post and its light was significant in some sort of way. I definitely agree with Aravis that its symbolizes life being created. I think it also signifies hope in a time of darkness. Like when it was winter in LWW (btw, sorry if I'm repeating what someone else already said earlier) but yea, i think its pretty cool- one of the reasons why i chose my username as Lamppostshines. :)

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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Glenstorm the Great » Jan 05, 2010 3:47 pm

I think it's a cool idea, but just coincedence. I don't Lewis meant it that way.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Jan 09, 2010 6:02 pm

Another interesting thing about the lamppost is that it was because of it that Edmund's lie about being in Narnia came to "light" because of it. He mentioned that they were going in the wrong direction to reach the lamppost and then Peter and Susan realize that he had been there.
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Re: The Lamp Post (LWW & MN)

Postby 220chrisTian » Jan 11, 2010 3:22 pm

Pattertwigs Pal wrote:Edmund's lie about being in Narnia came to "light" because of it. He mentioned that they were going in the wrong direction to reach the lamppost and then Peter and Susan realize that he had been there.
Pattertwig: brilliant! :ymapplause: This is a perfect example of what I said earlier in this thread, namely that the Word is a mirror of the soul [James 1:22-25], just like light. I then quoted Ephesians 5:13: "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light, for whatsoever doth make manifest is light." This is what the lamppost, which I think symbolizes truth [for us, the Word and Christ], does to Edmund. Because of the light, he and his lie can't hide anymore. :)

lamppostshines wrote:I think it also signifies hope in a time of darkness. Like when it was winter in LWW.
Good point! Before Christ, it seemed like a time of darkness. Before Christ, it was spiritually winter. But God's people still had hope. What was it? The Messiah promised in the Scriptures, the true light. :)

jesusiskingofkings: ditto on all of it. :p I really liked your character analyses. :)
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