Thursday, August 13, 2009

More than Turkish Delight: The Pleasures of Candy vs. the Pleasure of Power

Alan Jacobs, in The Narnian, p. 179, writes about the way in which the White Witch deals with Edmund's desires in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
She preys incessantly on his inordinate desires, and not simply his passion for Turkish Delight: far more useful to her, and far more important in Edmund's heart, is his resentment of Peter. Edmund would give up candy forever if that would win him a victory over his hated elder brother. Turkish Delight is just the beginning, the first enticement of the Witch; soon enough that temptation is put aside, once she learn what he really cares about. When he cannot be convinced to bring his brother and sisters back to Narnia by the promise of more treats, the Witch strikes the effective chord when she tells him, "You are to be the Prince--and later on--the King." For the pleasures of candy pale in comparison to the pleasures of Power: this is what the Witch teaches (or rather, discovers) in Edmund--this is the heart of her "moral education." And once Edmund has, in effect, sold his soul for the promise of such Power, only the greatest of sacrifices can win back his life.